Halifax's St. Patrick's High School to be turned over to the city
Published Tuesday, November 26, 2013 1:48PM AST
A large block of property in a prime Halifax location could soon be made available to developers, although the city and community groups will get first dibs.
St. Patrick’s High School, located on Quinpool Road, closed for good on Friday. The school first opened in 1954.
“At one point it would have had close to 2,000 students,” says Doug Hadley, a spokesperson for the Halifax Regional School Board.
Most of the school’s halls darkened in 2007 with the opening of Citadel High School, but the school board kept it open with special programs. Immigrants and refugees gathered at St. Pat’s to learn English until last week.
“As of last Friday, the last program that we were operating out of that has been relocated to another location within our system,” says Hadley.
The school board will turn the building over the city next week.
“Under legislation, we turn any building that was built prior to 1981 back to the municipality,” says Hadley.
Hadley says it costs the school board about half a million dollars each year to heat the building and keep the lights on. The city already owns the nearly one-hectare property on which the building sits.
While the school will be turned over to the city next week, it will be some time before a decision is made about the future of the school or the property.
A new policy, Administrative Order 50, was put in place in the spring. The policy includes rules for the disposal of surplus property.
Halifax Regional Council decided it needed a formal policy after a legal battle over the disposal of St. Patrick’s – Alexandra School, which dragged on for over a year with community groups and a developer.
The Quinpool Road Business Association has its own ideas about what should be done with the site.
“The association would like to see a mixed use of commercial and residential, with the street level being commercial, and we’d like to see as much residential as possible,” says Karen Nicholson.
She says the association would also like to see more parking and green space.
Discussions about the future of the site will begin after the city takes possession of the building on Dec. 2.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant