Following a protest on June 25 that saw access to Avola’s old log schoolhouse blocked, on Monday, July 8, work started on the schoolhouse’s exterior.
While the contractor was setting up with his crew, a few neighbours stopped to chat, asking him some of the particulars of the process, timing, products and purpose of the project.
The contractor and neighbours compared the Avola log schoolhouse with the nearby log Avola community hall, built in the mid-1930s by the same Finlanders as built the schoolhouse.
Respectful of the craftsmanship, the crew began work Monday on the north and south ends of the schoolhouse, which need the least intervention. A wire brush was all that was needed to sweep away loose debris. Any patches to replace rotten areas will be made with the same species of wood.
Thompson Headwaters services coordinator Sherri Madden arrived on site, briefly.
According to some, the entire alarm and drama of the past few weeks could have been avoided if a request the Avola residents made to the Thompson Headwaters services committee had been respected: “Could we meet with the contractor? Could he come here and show us what he has in mind? Can we offer input? May we know more details of the plans?”
In hopes of better understanding decisions leading up to the present situation and to prepare for input as to the interior of the building, several concerned Avola residents are reading through the minutes of THSC meetings which are available online at www.blueriverbc.ca/ under “Services Committee” then “Documents.”
Several residents of Avola would also like to be consulted as to potentials for the nearby playground, which the TNRD owns now too.
For more about Avola’s log schoolhouse, see the Valley Voices on page A2, and the letter to the editor on page A5.