It was actually through a Kingsville Facebook group that I found out about this:
The old Leamington District Seconday School has been replaced by a new building and Mill Street Public School has since been closed as well. Kudos to the city for acquiring the lands with the goal being
to encourage the development of attainable and affordable housing in Leamington
My first reaction, since the dollar value wasn’t quoted, was that it should be one of those $1 deals since the general public would have bought the land and built the buildings years ago and maintained them. I have no idea what the sale was worth; perhaps it will be publically disclosed at some point.
I have fond memories of both schools; as a consultant I visited all the schools in the district when I could. Both of these looked nice from the street but LDSS in particular showed its wear and tear once you got inside. In the spring of the year, it could get pretty hot and humid.
At one point, the district had indicated that they had the oldest inventory of buildings in the province and was working towards modernizing things. There have been a few buildings from both the Public Board and the Catholic Board that have been acquired by others as a result of their closure. Sometimes it’s as a result of a new building going up and other times, it’s a decline in enrollment.
The former St. Bernard Catholic School in town, for example, is in the process of becoming a community hub for seniors. The price tag for it was made public.
Watching the transformation, and it’s still ongoing, has been interesting. Whenever anyone buys a new house or building, there’s always that transition point where you put a new coat of paint on things. That’s just for looks and an attempt for the new owners to put their own personal stamp on things. In this case, there’s been some major work happening to the building
But what else is done? What sort of serious repairs are needed? In these days of COVID, a big concern becomes one of ventilation. I think that we’ve all read the recommendations of leaving classroom windows open this winter to keep the air moving.
I can’t imagine any new owner finding that to be an acceptable solution. So, the question in my mind is “why is it suitable for a school to do so?”
There should be a strong message to the Ministry of Education here that buildings need to be modern or modernized. That includes heating, cooling, and ventilation.