Nearly 20 residents of Avola and members of the Thompson Headwaters services committee met in the Avola log schoolhouse on Tuesday, Oct. 8 to discuss options for the building’s interior.
In contrast to a sometimes stormy meeting held in June to discuss proposed renovations to the schoolhouse exterior, the more recent meeting was quiet and friendly.
The renovations carried out on the exterior proved controversial with some and even resulted in a protest demonstration by a number of residents.
“The services committee spent a lot of time discussing how we can use this building in the future,” said Willow MacDonald, Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Thompson Headwaters (Area B).
Some changes to the building’s interior are required, such renovations to the bathroom and a new toilet.
Others have various options available, and the services committee is asking for input.
In a response form that was handed out before and during the meeting, Avola residents were asked what they would like done for each of the building’s four walls, plus the entry way.
For example, for the south wall, the options would be:
• to leave as is;
• to leave as is, but add a pull-down white screen;
• to remove the chalkboard, plus add a whiteboard on the wall and shelving;
• to remove the chalkboard, add six foot high bookshelves plus a white screen suspended from the ceiling; and
• an open option to be suggested by the residents.
“Thank God we now have some money to play with,” said MacDonald, referring to $20,000 in federal gas tax given to Area B by Area I director Steve Rice several months ago.
The other TNRD director had been unable to use the funds and so made it available to Thompson Headwaters, said MacDonald.
Having the money meant the Area B services committee was able to move ahead on renovations to the Avola log schoolhouse earlier than anticipated.
Over the past few years the schoolhouse has mostly been used by the services committee for its meetings, she said.
Recently the Blue River Community Association bought insurance so the Avola Book Club can use it once a week.
The building also is being used for some private events, such as a family reunion held last August.
MacDonald noted that is easy for her, as a Blue River resident, to communicate with people in Blue River. It isn’t so easy for her to let people in Avola know what is going on.
It is for this reason that she holds monthly get-togethers in Avola with coffee and cookies, she said.
Results from the Oct. 8 meeting plus comments on the response forms will be summarized for the service committee members prior to their next meeting, which is to be held Oct. 22 in the Avola schoolhouse. The committee intends to decide at the Oct. 22 meeting on which options to implement for the schoolhouse interior.