On Wednesday (Oct 18th), I attended a public engagement meeting on the future of Robert Bateman/Lord Elgin High School. The City was looking for public feedback on the potential uses for the building. During the presentation, several bits of Information were mentioned.
- Parking – There is a lot of talk about the need for more parking at the school and whether the football field will need to be paved over. Between the Library, Brock’s Teachers College and the Board of Education, the demand for parking spaces will be greater than the current spaces.
- Seventy-five percent of the school space is already committed to Brock University and its Teacher College program; the Halton Board of Education; the Burlington Public Library Branch; The Centennial Pool, the three gyms, and changing rooms; and a business incubator organization.
- The Halton Board of Education will occupy the ground floor, covering half of the shop area, all the arts area, and the classrooms on the west side of the Library, from the front to the back.
- Brock will occupy all the classrooms on the second floor, with an option to take over the classrooms on either side of the main staircase at the front of the school.
- The area reserved for the community is 25% of the total space and is the classrooms on the east side of the Library running towards the back of the building.
- After the renovations are complete, an expanded lobby will be at the front of the building. It will be a two-storey open space with a skylight. This location will have a staircase to the second floor to access Brock University, plus elevators. The lobby will serve as a passageway to the major tenets.
- From the main lobby, a central corridor will run from the front of the school to the back of the building. It runs through the former library location and the classrooms in the back.
- A secondary entrance at the back of the building will allow people who park at the back of the school a way into the building.
- Finally, there is asbestos in the building, and I think they are removing everything to the beams and brick walls. It will be curious if anything from the past is left intact.
While I am sad that much of what I love about the school will lost and a lot of the space will be devoted to organizations not servicing the local community, the building will survive. The land could have easily gone to condos.