The project to convert the former St. Joseph’s School in Chemainus into a women’s long term recovery house is not proceeding.
Bernie Willock of Mill Bay, the chair of the Cowichan Valley Intentional Recovery Community Society, confirmed the long process of turning the site into a place for a women’s residential therapeutic program to help those in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions has ended.
“We received our Preliminary Lot Approval from the Municipality of North Cowichan recently and the estimated costs of the civil service upgrades required by the engineering department make the project fiscally unattainable for our group,” explained Willock.
The PLA provides the details of the improvements required to be completed before the municipality will approve the subdivision, he added.
The property first needed to be subdivided for the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church to remain on one parcel.
“That is the short version of a long arduous journey of community consultation and due diligence,” Willock indicated. “The contract of purchase and sale has been terminated by mutual consent by both the Catholic Diocese of Victoria and ourselves.
“We are grateful for the patience and grace extended to us by the Diocese and its members as we navigated this project through the long delays associated with the pandemic.”
Willock said this not the end of the CVIRCS’ quest to establish a long-term residential recovery centre.
“We’re looking for another site,” he said.
The organization wants it to be within the Cowichan Valley anywhere from Mill Bay to Ladysmith.
The CVIRCS became registered as a B.C. society in November of 2019.