Ancaster residents may have just purchased a school.
Hamilton politicians agreed after discussing the issue behind closed doors last week to buy Memorial School at 357 Wilson St. E.
“This is a legacy project for the entire community,” said Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, who has championed the goal since his re-election in the last municipal campaign in 2010. “This will benefit everybody.”
In 2013 the Ancaster Heritage BIA, along with nine other community groups, suggested converting the building into an arts and cultural centre. Other options for the property were parking, housing for seniors and a new location for the farmers Market.
The public school board declared Memorial surplus in 2013. The city indicated to the board it was interested in buying the building that sits on four acres of land. But the problem has been finding the money.
Ferguson said city staff provided financial options during last week’s in-camera meeting. Ferguson said he couldn’t yet reveal the price tag. Hamilton needs to make its offer to the school board by June. If the board does not receive a formal offer from the preferred agent, the board can offer the property to the public through a tender process.
There is about $1.5 million sitting in the Ancaster reserve fund, but Ferguson has stated that wouldn’t be enough to purchase the property.
Once politicians confirm the purchase at their May 28 council meeting, it will be up to the school board to accept the city’s offer, which is based on market value.