Former Bri­gus Academy de­mol­ished

Provin­cial govern­ment pays for re­moval of as­bestos-laden struc­ture

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

A land­mark struc­ture in the Town of Bri­gus has been de­mol­ished, and the re­moval of the as­bestos- laden ma­te­rial was com­pleted in re­cent days.

The former Bri­gus Academy was knocked down with an ex­ca­va­tor and work­ers with East­ern De­mo­li­tion, clad in white pro­tec­tive cov­er­alls and wear­ing masks, spent sev­eral weeks re­mov­ing the de­bris.

Town of­fi­cials were pleased to see the build­ing on School Lane Road com­ing down.

“We’re tick­led pink,” town clerk/ man­ager Wayne Rose stated re­cently.

With fears about the sta­bil­ity of the build­ing, the town is­sued a de­mo­li­tion or­dered in Septem­ber, de­scrib­ing the struc­ture as “di­lap­i­dated” and a “pub­lic nui­sance.” The provin­cial govern­ment, which took pos­ses­sion of the prop­erty this past sum­mer, awarded the job to East­ern De­mo­li­tion in the amount of roughly $ 250,000.

The build­ing’s con­crete foun­da­tion was poured in 1955, and it was op­er­ated by the United Church as a school for many years. It was closed fol­low­ing a ma­jor re­struc­tur­ing of the prov­ince’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in the 1990s.

The build­ing had been un­oc­cu­pied for about a half- dozen years, and was most re­cently used by a fur­ni­ture man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany called Craft In­dus­tries. The com­pany owes a “sub­stan­tial” amount of taxes to the town, and there were a num­ber of other liens on the prop­erty, Rose ex­plained.

The build­ing was slowly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, with one of the walls cav­ing in ear­lier this year.

Un­der the con­tract, the com­pany was re­quired to re­me­di­ate the site.

As for the fu­ture of the prop­erty, Rose said the town hopes to en­ter into dis­cus­sions with the prov­ince, in hopes of ac­quir­ing the land. He said coun­cil is pur­su­ing sev­eral op­tions for the prop­erty.

Mean­while, own­er­ship of a sec­ond former school build­ing in the town — Bishop O’neill Col­le­giate — has again changed hands, Rose ex­plained.

A St. John’s based com­pany called Repub­lic Prop­er­ties pur­chased the prop­erty this past sum­mer. The build­ing has been badly van­dal­ized in re­cent month, and town of­fi­cials are hope­ful that the com­pany will make some use of the empty brick build­ing, which was con­structed in the 1970s.

“We’re ex­cited about what the new owner has in mind,” said Rose.

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