Long-awaited visitors' centre needs land deed
It's been six years in the making and organizers are hoping it will be take just a few more months before the shovel hits the ground.
The envisioned Cowichan Valley Visitors' Centre has received the preliminary thumbs up on funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust, contributing $700,000 and the Cowichan Valley Regional District, pitching in $293,000.
The President of the Duncan/North Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, George Gates, said they're now waiting for a land swap to be completed between the BC Forest Discovery Centre and the district of North Cowichan.
“Before we can actually plan for a ground-breaking day, we’re waiting for the subdivision of the property to take place so that we have a legal deed in hand, so that we can use that document to go forward and apply for building permits.“
Gates said the new centre will be easier for everyone to find, tourists and local residents alike.
“What’s going to change is the amount of people coming into the Visitors’ Centre. Right now, our numbers are low because… it’s very hard to get into the Visitors’ Centre where it is now,” he admitted. “Our new centre is going to be… visibly on the highway. people are going to be able to see it coming from both ways.”
The centre is slated to go up next to the BC Forest Discovery Centre on the Trans-Canada Highway at Bell McKinnon.
The district of North Cowichan is managing the project and Chief Administrative Officer Dave Devanna said when the paperwork is complete, construction is expected to begin in the fall.
Photo: Architectural blueprint of Cowichan Valley Visitors' Centre, courtesy Chamber of Commerce
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