Uchucklesaht Tribe buys former Redford School property

Denise Titian, November 14, 2018

Last used by the Salvation Army, the former site of the Redford School offers a sprawling 20,000 square feet of office, classroom and gymansium space - plus an adjacent field. (Eric Plummer photos)   

Port Alberni, BC — 

The Uchucklesaht Tribe Government is pleased to announce they are the proud new owners of a 1.5-acre property in central Port Alberni that once served as an elementary school.

The Redford Street property, advertised as having 20,000 square feet of office space including a gymnasium and a large kitchen, has been up for sale for several months. The property covers one city block near the paper mill and includes playing fields that can be developed.

The asking price for the property was $550,000 but the final purchase price has not been disclosed.

“We’ve nearly reached our capacity at the Thunderbird Building,” said Uchucklesaht’s Director of Lands and Resources Ryan Anaka. “Uchucklesaht is an expanding nation and we need more space,” he added.

“We are planning on moving some of our government services to this location, but are also planning for the potential of providing office space for rent, possibly to other nations if interested,” Anaka said.

The advertised collection of buildings are a mix of old school offices, classrooms, renovated open areas and a kitchen, according to Anaka. Some of the old offices are ready for immediate occupancy but some renovations will be required for other spaces.

“We are planning renovations of some of the spaces; of the old administration and classroom areas (will be renovated) to updated offices,” said Anaka.

The Uchucklesaht are not yet certain how much office space is needed for themselves but they hope to rent space out to others.

“Generation of revenue through our assets is a priority for the UTG (Uchucklesaht Tribe Government). We also plan on renovating one of the old classroom buildings into a carving and cultural space,” he added.

The kitchen and gymnasium gives UTG a large gathering space that can be used for social and cultural purposes.

“The gymnasium will provide a recreational area for healthy activities for our members, and will also act as a large gathering area for our members; we hope it will become a space that our members feel welcome to enjoy and participate in cultural and sport activities,” Anaka told Ha-Shilth-Sa.

The facilities may be rented out to others if the interest is there.

UTG is also exploring the idea of renovating the existing south east building into apartment units, and have reviewed the idea of developing the field into residential lots.

“No solid plans have been decided upon at this time,” said Anaka, but, over time they hope to have a mixture of administrative, cultural, recreational and residential uses on the property.