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The Record • Saturday, October 9, 2010 • A03

◗IN THE NEWS Homelessness Action Week events in city ◗P5 Builders’ Awards honour Royal City’s best ◗P9

Howay gets facelift – others get upgrades BY NIKI HOPE REPORTER

The board of education held its first public meeting of the school year at the recently spruced up F.W. Howay Elementary, a school that got $400,000 in upgrades over the summer. The school’s renos included a new fire sprinkler system, new hallway and classroom flooring, asbestos abatement, painting inside and out, new ceiling tiles and electrical upgrades. “In my opinion, Howay isn’t one of the oldest schools in the district, but it was in the most

need (of upgrades),” Doug Templeton, the district’s director of facilities and operations, told the board of education. Howay parents had been calling for worn-out carpets at the school to be replaced for the last couple of years. “We are very pleased with the renovations,” Howay parent and district parent advisory council chair Paul Johansen told The Record. “Children, parents and staff were very happy with the renos, and they were long overdue.” Howay’s office was also moved from the back of the school to the

front, for security purposes. Howay is just one of a number of schools where maintenance work is underway. Much of the work was completed during the summer school break, but work will continue during the fall and winter months, Templeton told the board. The restoration of the annual maintenance grant, a provincial grant given to school districts, enabled the district to pay for the much-needed work at Howay and other schools. The ministry had axed the maintenance grant in August 2009 without warning. That grant

brought $1.1 million into the district. The district has also devised a five-year plan for minor renovations at schools. The plan is subject to funding, Templeton told the board.

MORE WORK: Here’s a summary of other recent work at city schools: Herbert Spencer – classroom carpets replaced with lino – portable move to John Robson fullday kindergarten prep Connaught Heights – exterior and some interior paint

– fire sprinkler system Hume Park – mechanical upgrade Richard McBride – sand and refinish gym and stage Lord Kelvin – sand and refinish stage – full-day kindergarten site prep John Robson – relocate portable from Herbert Spencer FDK Lord Tweedsmuir – full-day kindergarten site prep Queen Elizabeth – full-day kindergarten site prep – roofing

River ride: A boater zips down the Fraser River in front of the Quay during one of the summerlike days last week. Larry Wright/ THE RECORD

Rare heritage duplex will be restored BY THERESA MCMANUS REPORTER

It was built on a small apple orchard sometime in the late 1800s, and now a city duplex will become a triplex and have an option of becoming a four-plex in the future. Council has approved a heritage revitalization agreement to convert the existing duplex at 437 Seventh St. into three residential units and retain the option of adding a fourth unit in the future. The building is located on land that’s designated as community commercial districts highrise. Julie Schueck, the city’s heritage planner, said the heritage revitalization agreement allows a residence to be provided at grade in a commercial zone. She said it also allows off-street parking, which

has been a concern expressed by some neighbours. “The site has never had on-site parking,” she said. “There is no way to get it on site because it is so small.” A small apple orchard was once located at the property. A highrise and one-storey commercial building are located next to the home. According to the a statement of significance prepared about the property, the house was built in 1893 and is valued for its association with the very early residential development of the uptown neighbourhood. “A landmark in this neighbourhood of mixed-used buildings of a variety of ages and building styles, the house is significant for its age and is one of the last remaining indicators of the very early housing developments in the uptown

neighbourhood, in what was originally a residential subdivision of the downtown centre of New Westminster in the 1860s and ’70s,” said the document. “Its context has shifted with changes to the neighbourhood, and it is now close to a major commercial centre.” Schueck said she knows of only two other pre-1900 duplexes located in the city. “It’s a rare example of a pre-1900 duplex. It’s really neat,” she said. “It’s in pretty good shape.” In addition to being valued as a duplex residence and for its age, the house was the home of Francis Orra Canfield, who’s considered a prominent figure in the city’s history. A principal of Lord Kelvin school and a leader in the education field, he was also active in a number of community groups and benevolent associations.

“Previous to the purchase by the current owners, the property was rundown and the city had many enforcement issues with former occupants,” said a staff report. “The applicants, through their considerable financial and emotional commitment, are restoring the house and making a significant improvement to the streetscape. Although some work has been carried out without permits, the quality of the work is in keeping with current heritage conservation standards.” The owners are proposing to create two rental units on the northwest side of the building and an owner-occupied unit on the other side of the house. They would also like the option of converting the owner-occupied unit’s main floor into a fourth unit in the future, which would reduce the size of their own unit. Follow Theresa on

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New West Record - October 9, 2010  

New West Record - October 9, 2010 printed edition

New West Record - October 9, 2010  

New West Record - October 9, 2010 printed edition