Some additional security fencing has been added to the old Crofton Elementary School since residents met with School District 79 officials to put in more safeguards to protect against fire, graffiti and more vandalism to the long-abandoned building. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Petition being circulated to demolish old Crofton Elementary building

Citizens also taking other action to combat crime in Crofton

A petition is now being circulated in Crofton to demolish and restore the site of the old Crofton Elementary School.

It reads as follows:

“To the Honourable the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, in Legislature Assembled:

The petition of the undersigned, petitioners and citizens, of the Province of British Columbia, respectfully states that the Honourable House immediately secure funding to demolish and restore the site of the Old Crofton Elementary School; and further, that a working plan be established to revitalize the property to be a benefit to the community.

“Furthermore, we call on the government to rectify the situation caused by the official closure on February 8, 2017. At that time the policy for a 90-day public consultation period was waived. This decision has impacted the community negatively. Since said closure activities such as graffiti, drug-use and purposed set fires have become a regular occurrence creating an escalating unsafe situation within the community. The lack of maintenance, and security of the building, has added to the inherent fire risk and illegal activities. We request that further to the recent efforts of the local residents, and subsequently the school district, that funds be secured to demolish the building, complete the site restoration, and ultimately revitalize the property to be of benefit to the community as a whole.”

“People are just clamouring to sign it,” said Shannon Carlow, a member of a Crofton group of concerned citizens.

“Our aim is 500 signatures in two weeks,” she added.

The post office can direct residents to the prominent locations of the petition clipboards in Crofton. It’s also hoped to have the petition available to be signed at business outlets to be determined in Chemainus.

Some security fencing has been added to the site since the local group met with School District 79 to stress the severity of the situation.

“It’s a good start,” said Carlow. “We’re very happy things have happened.”

Meanwhile, July has seen a marked increase in criminal activity in Crofton. There has been numerous auto property thefts from inside unlocked vehicles such as cash from ashtrays, GPS units, wallets and purses. Thieves have even rifled through trunks.

Patio furniture and bicycles have been lifted and homes have been entered without permission from owners. There has been several homes busted for drug-related activity and arrests have happened with guns drawn from SWAT teams and police. Another arrest of a truck thief just last week again involved many RCMP and special police teams.

“People who have lived here for over 20 years have not seen this crime increase rate ever rise from past years,” noted Dan Robin, a longtime resident of Crofton himself.

He added there will be a meeting this week between Community Policing and concerned citizens to increase a Block Watch program and perhaps security patrols at night through the town.

“There is a group of persons, not just one, that work and perhaps even live right here in Crofton,” Robin indicated. “Every night something happens and it has to stop before homeowners become in contact with these thieves.”

A few citizens are ready to do what it takes to protect their families and property.

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