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Albion Hall falls
Albion Hall, built by volunteers in 1923, was demolished Saturday morning, despite pleas from area residents and the Maple Ridge heritage commission to preserve the building on 240th Street, near Lougheed Highway.
Under a deal worked out with the Albion Community Association, which owned and operated the hall, the District of Maple Ridge took possession of the building on March 31.
The hall was in poor condition, according to the district, and would have required significant costs to bring it up to municipal standards – seismic, electrical and mechanical upgrades. A district inspection last year found the hall would need extensive repairs – bat guano would have to be removed from the attic, washrooms upgraded, wheelchair accessibility would have to be provided, as well as structural improvements made. Costs for that could exceed $100,000.
Under the agreement worked out between the community association and the municipality, Maple Ridge will set aside, in cash, the market value of the building and the lot ($315,500) and apply that (less demolition costs) towards a new Albion hall, whenever and wherever that’s built.
One possibility is that a new community hall could be built in Albion flats, currently the subject of an area-planning process.
Initial plans for that include a recreation facility just west of the townhomes on the west side of 240th Street. That area could be considered as serving the Albion residential area. But those details all would have to be worked out, after the plan is approved.