Alder Grove Heritage Society (AGHS) faces a delay in knowing the fate of the community’s old firehall.
The delay is due to its tenants plan to remain living in the building until 2020, a Langley Township memorandum revealed.
The AGHS received the memo following public deliberation Jan. 2 by Township council about a proposal from the group to preserve the hall.
“The commercial space is being maintained for storage purposes at this time,” the memo read.
The memo states the tenants who live in suites upstairs – including the building’s former owners Rob and Maureen Robinson – lease begins March 1 and is subject to re-evaluation “on and after” Apr. 30, 2020.
At last Wednesday’s (Feb. 13) AGHS meeting, director Brit Gardner informed the society that “the race to preserve the hall,” is at “standstill.”
The fire hall, located at 2900 272nd Street, was purchased by the Township last June from the Robinsons – who years ago remodeled the hall into a commercial space for Milsean Shoppe coffee and confectionaries. The building was set to be demolished to make room for a connector road adjoining 29th Avenue and 273 Street.
“The main thing is saving the building,” said an AGHS member Scott White, who said there was unanimous agreement in the room.
“As of now, there is no demolition on the books,” said Gardner, referring to proposed actions by the Township.
“The fire hall project is currently in ‘heritage assessment mode’,” added AGHS secretary Tami Quiring.
“So there isn’t much we can really do other than prepare for our next steps, which involves a fair bit of research,” she added.
The Township has approved a motion to consult local community members, as well as independent appraisers, to estimate the value of the fire hall – which was first built through largely donated goods and services in 1958.
The AGHS proposed the Township convert the space into a community archive museum.
Additional components might include a small coffee shop, local gift shop and community meeting space, Quiring said.
Knowing whether the fire hall will be deemed a heritage building, and whether it will be preserved under the Township’s heritage strategy, will likely remain a mystery until after the lease with current tenants is up.