The Comox School district was formed July 30, 1870
Elementary School (built 1915), church (1906), post office (1913), and gaolhouse (1901). Together they form “Heritage Row while the area was still part of the Colony of Vancouver Island.
The property is an amalgamation of three parcels. The school district acquired about an acre plus the building through a Crown grant in 1949, and an adjacent one-acre lot from Canadian Collieries. In 1977, it added the third parcel in an exchange with a developer.
Closed due to dwindling number of students in the late 1990s or early 2000’s, and remaining students and faculty merged into Royston Elementary School.
The UBID purchased the land in 2007. It was assessed at about $1.3 million.
In a acticle by the Comox Valley Record March 5th 2013 the Union Bay Improvement District has taken legal action against the Comox Valley School District, from which it purchased land housing the old Union Bay Elementary school for $675,000. https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/union-bay-improvement-district-suing-over-purchase-of-building/
After moving to Union Bay in June of 2014 the Union Bay Elementary School District SD71 Comox Valley was in Litigation with Union Bay Improvement District.
Early in 2015 the school was not occupied, and I had a chance to talk to SD71 maintenance staff that were replacing the outside main water shut off valve to the school. He was not aware of what was happening but jokingly said he heard the land was being sold off for a retirement complex.
Then in the spring of 2016 I noticed a backhoe and a group of workers digging up a series of holes in the playground field, I asked the backhoe operator what was going on and he said they were doing a series of percolation tests for the school board.
In 2016, 2018 and 2019 we noticed the fire department and many trucks and vehicles in the school for a full day.
One of my new neighbours had school age children and asked if and when the school was going to be opening in the near future.
I decided it was time to go get some answers.
I called School District SD71 and was directed to the person in charge Director of Operations Ian Heselgrave and got some answers.
- The School Board did authorize percolation tests as they were thinking of selling off the land behind the school, that idea is no longer viable.
- The Union Bay Fire Department has an agreement with SD71 that they could use the school for training, and they would “keep an eye” on the school in return.
- The SD47 is presently having tours for prospective educators such as arts, specialized education etc…
Lastly Mr. Heselgrave said he is more than willing to share information related to the Union Bay Elementary School with Union Bay residence and gave me his contact numbers to share.
Director of Operations
Phone: 250 334-5516.