Habitat For Humanity withdraws from observatory deconstruction project

Habitat For Humanity withdraws from observatory deconstruction project

Outcry from supporters convinces organization to not help recycle building materials.

  • Jul. 11, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Habitat For Humanity, Upper Fraser Valley, has withdrawn its involvement with the deconstruction of the observatory building in Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park.

Commenting on the Habitat For Humanity website, president and CEO Doug Rempel wrote:

“I appreciate everyone’s input into this unfortunate situation. First of all we are not tearing down the building. We were told the building was being demolished by a contractor hired by the city. We have teams of volunteers that help recycle material when buildings get demolished to keep as much material out of the landfill.

“I myself am heartbroken that this observatory is being taken down. We did not realize that some people would be upset with us trying to help recycle some of the material instead of it just being disposed of. We only are allowed to use new material for our builds, we sell recycled material at our ReStores to help us build affordable housing.

“To set the record straight we have been working on affordable housing with the city for over a year. Due to the concerns put forward we will withdraw our service of helping to recycle the material when it is disposed of.”

Habitat’s website was filled with comment from supporters of the observatory protesting against the volunteer group’s involvement.

City council voted last month to demolish the building and attempt to re-purpose as much of the building material as possible.