Old Alvinston school gets new life

Architect drawn of the refurbished Alvinston school

Apartments and commercial area to be built over two years


An old school is getting new life after many years of sitting vacant.

Petrolia developer Jim VanderWal has purchased the former Alvinston School on the corner of Centre and Walnut Streets. The plan is to create new housing and commercial space.

At the Oct. 13 meeting, Brooke-Alvinston Council gave VanderWal approval to transform the one-story building into 5,000 square feet of commercial space and four, two and three bedroom apartment units.

In a report to council, Lambton County Planner Frank Garardo says the plan is to allow commercial services such as a laundromat, office, restaurant, convenience store, clinic, bake shop or a health club.

The plan also calls for two, fourplex apartments on the back of the property, bringing the number of new units to 12. The development will require 35 parking spaces which will be located between the converted school building and the new town homes.

“I think it is a real positive for our community,” says Mayor Don McGugan adding he was a bit surprised about the scope of the project in Alvinston. “His timeline was to start as soon as he was permitted,” adds McGugan. “It could take two years to build.”