Asbestos and lead found in Rollo McLay portable

The portable at Rollo McLay Community Park is finally coming down.

Planned for a few years, work on the demolition began last week with a contractor conducting a hazardous material survey and remediation plan as per Worksafe BC regulatory requirements, according to Regional District of Nanaimo parks staff.

Parks manager Rick Daykin said the contractor found asbestos in the vinyl flooring and lead in the paint. Once hazardous materials are removed, demolition will begin this week.

The portable had been used for programming and office space by the Gabriola Recreation Society but not for several years due to health and safety concerns. More recently it has been a storage space for equipment.

As for what will go in the portable’s place, discussions are ongoing as to whether the space it currently occupies can be converted to a practice field to address the growing calls from sports groups on Gabriola for more fields to play on.

At the February Electoral Area B parks and open spaces advisory committee meeting, committee members and RDN staff discussed the potential for the area to become a gravel practice field for soccer and other activities. Currently there is insufficient capacity to irrigate another grass surface, staff said at that meeting.

Daykin told the Sounder that specifics such as “possible field dimensions and provision of soccer goals will be part of a design process, if the plan to convert the area to a gravel area is approved.”

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder