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More people means bigger local schools

Duncan’s Bank of Montreal building undergoes renovations 1966 during a building boom that gripped the Cowichan region.  - courtesy Cowichan Valley Museum and Archive
Duncan’s Bank of Montreal building undergoes renovations 1966 during a building boom that gripped the Cowichan region.
— image credit: courtesy Cowichan Valley Museum and Archive

The Duncan area has had its share of building booms: the early 19th century burst of residential housing east of the city; the 1950s flood of homes to accommodate workers and their families as the new Crofton pulp mill roared into action; and in the mid 1960s, a new construction surge to accommodate increased migration from prairie provinces and overseas.

And by 1966, construction costs had sky-rocketed. The year before, the local school board had been forced to build its first prefabricated school, Khowhemun elementary on Cliffs Road when bids on a conventional building came in at $20,000 over the estimated $50,000. Cutting costs to $60,000 meant a quick provincial approval and a new school building within a year.

A similar situation arose in June 1966. Under funds approved by referendum, Duncan elementary school gym was schedule to double in size. And when trustees learned that the $50,000 appropriated was $20,000 short of an architect’s $70,000 estimate, most trustees accepted the news philosophically. It was a builders’ market, and they named the prices, said trustee Joseph Frumento. Working plans were also ordered for an estimated $46,000 addition to Mill Bay elementary. The new classroom was required by September.

1966: thrift

The Junior Women’s Auxillary to King’s Daughters’ Hospital closed its Jubilee Street thrift shop because of a shortage of volunteers. It was started in 1960 with convenors Mrs. R. Dobell and Mrs. E. Mould.

1966: trust

At their annual convention, Vancouver Island branch, B.C. School Trustees Association presented a life membership to Trustee Wilf Peck who had served as local school chairman and president of both the Island branch and provincial association.

1966: thrift

The Junior Women’s Auxillary to King’s Daughters’ Hospital closed its Jubilee Street thrift shop because of a shortage of volunteers. It was started in 1960 with convenors Mrs. R. Dobell and Mrs. E. Mould.

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