Happy New Year – 2023
Jan 12, 2023 – I would like to wish everyone a happy new year. As we enter 2023, there is some good news for Lord Elgin/Robert Bateman. In November 2022, the City of Burlington approved the purchase for $29.6 million (essentially) and also approved a proposed budget of $72 million for redevelopment costs for phase one.
The school has been incorporated into the City’s 25-year plan for economic development. Elgin/Bateman will become a community hub for different community services, including:
- The Gary Allan Learning Centre (operated HDSB)
- Teachers’ Education and Applied Disabilities Studies Program (Brock University)
- The Appleby Branch Library (BPL)
- TechPlace (operated by the Burlington Economic Development)
In addition, the City will continue to operate Centennial Pool and maintain access to the triple gym facilities. There will also be community rooms created for the general public.
Elgin was built in 1969, with the official opening occurring in Sept 1970. In 1973, the Centennial Pool was added. With the merger of General Brock and Lord Elgin in 2003, there was a significant expansion in the area behind the Shop and Arts area of the original school. As a result, over 212,000 square feet of space are available for future development.
The current plan calls for redevelopment to occur over several phases. In phase one, several existing services will be relocated to the school. There will also be modifications to the building to make these services available and to make the school more functional for future use, including:
- A new front entrance
- Mew open “collaborative” corridors and seating that will connect the front and the rear of the school
- A new central staircase and elevator
- New meeting rooms.
The City is looking for feedback on the future use of the school in 2023, and there is criticism over both the purchase price of $29 million dollars and the $72 million redevelopment costs of phase one, so the coming year should be interesting.
So, the saving of Elgin/Bateman is a good news/bad news story. The good news is the building is being saved and will be open for alumni to visit in the future. The bad news is the building and its interior will look vastly different than what you experienced as a student. On the whole, I am fairly positive about this development. The change was always going to happen, and this is likely the best one could reasonably hope for. I have attached some architectural drawings of what the school might look like once the renovations are finished. If you are looking for a real-life example of what Elgin/Bateman will look like, visit Queen Elizabeth Park Community Centre in Oakville. It’s Elgin’s sister school, built in 1971 by the same architects.