Seek­ing uses for for­mer school

Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Yar­mouth has no need it­self for for­mer Ar­ca­dia school

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - TINA COMEAU

As is of­ten the case when a mu­nic­i­pal unit in­her­its a for­mer school build­ing, the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Yar­mouth has no fore­see­able per­sonal need for the for­mer Ar­ca­dia Con­sol­i­dated School.

But the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is look­ing for pro­pos­als and ideas from oth­ers.

The for­mer ele­men­tary school closed in June 2016. Stu­dents were sent to nearby Ply­mouth School.

Most re­cently, the build­ing housed some men­tal health/ psy­chi­a­try, med­i­cal and out­pa­tient of­fices fol­low­ing a flood at the Yar­mouth Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in De­cem­ber. Those of­fices only just re­cently moved back into the hos­pi­tal so now the build­ing will re­vert to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Asked if the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has a use for the build­ing, War­den Le­land An­thony says, “at this time, no. But we do have our eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer who has been work­ing in the back­ground on some pos­si­bil­i­ties. We knew it was com­ing back to us.”

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity put out a re­quest for pro­pos­als a few months ago and re­ceived one. It con­tin­ues to be open to re­ceiv­ing other pro­pos­als.

An­thony says the school is still in good con­di­tion.

“All of those schools were well built and Ar­ca­dia school has had some mod­i­fi­ca­tions done to it over the years like the win­dows, etc. So it has been up­graded,” he says, adding is also has a good sewer and wa­ter sys­tem.

“It also does have the walk­ing trail and the soc­cer field,” An­thony says, not­ing this has been an im­por­tant build­ing in the com­mu­nity for a long time.

“The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will be look­ing very hard be­fore we’d even con­sider, let’s knock ‘er down,” he says. “But I don’t think we’ll hold onto it for five or six years hop­ing to find some­thing for it. We’d have to make some hard de­ci­sions in the next cou­ple of years.”

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity, he said, will look at board­ing up win­dows to en­sure they aren’t bro­ken as the build­ing sits empty. The war­den says he’s also sug­gested in­stalling se­cu­rity cam­eras.

It’ll cost the mu­nic­i­pal­ity about $40,000 to keep the heat needed in the build­ing in or­der to en­sure it is prop­erly main­tained, says Deputy War­den John Cun­ning­ham. He says there is one small chal­lenge when it comes to find­ing a use for the build­ing.

“There may be a small prob­lem with the Ar­ca­dia school since the school is in a ham­let. It’s very re­stric­tive of what can go there,” Cun­ning­ham says.

“What­ever pro­po­nent is look­ing they have to make sure the use fits the com­mu­nity,” he adds. “Now, mind you, down the road if there is a dif­fer­ent use that’s not al­lowed in the ham­let we could have a public hear­ing and change our mu­nic­i­pal plan­ning strate­gies and land-use by­laws.”

TINA COMEAU

The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Yar­mouth hopes to find a fu­ture use for the for­mer Ar­ca­dia Con­sol­i­dated School.

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