The Hamilton Public School Board remains tight-lipped about its plans for Sir Isaac Brock Elementary School in Stoney Creek, which closed last June as part of a development plan that led to the construction of the new Viola School Desmond near Glendale High School.
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board associate principal Stacey Zucker let a detail slip in January when she disclosed that staff had applied for funding to demolish the Greenford Drive school during an Independent Discussion on the plans of the former Sir John A. Macdonald High School.
Beyond that, the advice doesn’t say much.
Chairman Dawn Danko confirmed that ‘staff are looking to demolish the facility to avoid any potential liability’ but did not provide any details of plans for the 2.8 hectare property, which sits next to Dover Park .
“Maintaining an unoccupied building presents additional challenges and costs for the school board,” she said in an emailed statement. “A date for the demolition has not been set and is subject to comments from the Ministry of Education.”
The Stoney Creek News asked about plans for the school, built in 1969, after receiving a request from a reader who lives across the street.
Brock is the only one of six elementary schools closed following accommodation reviews in east Hamilton and lower Stoney Creek not to be declared surplus by the board.
Mountain View was declared surplus in January 2021, followed by Elizabeth Bagshaw, Glen Echo, Green Acres and RL Hyslop at the end of March.
The statement gave a list of preferred public bodies, including the city and other local school boards, up to six months to reach an agreement to buy the sites at fair market value before they could be offered. to all buyers.
The city purchased the 2.2-hectare Hyslop School property for $3.85 million, with the deal closing Dec. 21, according to Area Councilor Russ Powers. The city plans to demolish the building to make way for a neighborhood park.
The board’s website lists the other four schools among eight school properties that “are in progress or have completed” the initial phase allowing preferred agencies to express interest.
Before selling them on the open market, the board must first satisfy the Ministry of Education that there were no offers from public bodies or that no offers could be agreed, indicates the website.
Danko said the council had not declared Sir Isaac Brock’s surplus land – it had to do so publicly – but reviewed all properties each year for planning purposes and to align with its land master plan. long-term facilities.
“Any updates will be presented in May,” she said. “At this time, there are no plans for this site to share, but we have future opportunities to discuss this when we revisit the master plan for our facilities.”
The secrecy around Brock surprised former area administrator Wayne Marston, who was walking his dog when a reporter dropped by to take a picture of the school on February 14.
Marston was a trustee from 2000 until he was elected area MP in 2006. He says he doesn’t understand why the property hasn’t been declared surplus and the neighborhood is plagued with rumours, especially that condos will be built there.
“It’s always rumored, but it’s that question mark that remains with the public when you’re not 100% transparent,” he said, adding that the plan to demolish the building raises more of questions.
“I’m surprised they’re talking about tearing it down because you’re selling it to someone who takes responsibility for it. It kind of implies that they want to do something with the land themselves,” Marston said.
“It’s just a little irregular, in my opinion.”
STORY BEHIND THE STORY: We wanted to know more about the school board’s plans for Sir Isaac Brock Elementary School after receiving a request from a reader.