By Kevin Werner, News Staff
An agreement between the city and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board to purchase a portion of the old Bishop Ryan high school could be completed this fall, says the local councillor.
Chad Collins said the city has made an offer to the board to buy three acres of the 16-acre property.
The city and board have been talking about the municipality buying the property, including the potential market value of the land, since early this year.
“We could not afford to buy the 16 acres,” said Collins. “This will help us keep the recreation area. (The agreement) is only a few short months away from completion.”
Since the school was constructed at 50 Albright Road in 1991, the city and board have shared the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Recreation Centre that is attached to the school and houses the gym.
In addition, the utilities for the facility are located in the school portion of the facility.
The top priority for the Davis Creek Neighbourhood Association was to retain the recreation centre, and any land for community use.
The plan, said Collins, is to keep the centre, and construct a new gym for community use. The cost for the project is estimated to be about $1 million.
Councillors held an in camera meeting last week to finalize council’s offer to the school board for the land.
Collins said earlier the cost for the land could be anywhere from $1.2 million to $1.3 million.
The board declared the property surplus in May 2012, since it is close to completing the new $36.7-million Bishop Ryan School on Rymal Road, near the massive Summit Park residential development. Board officials have stated it is scheduled to be completed this fall.
Pat Daly, board chair, has said the remaining board property will be put up for sale to developers. Since it is already zoned residential — based upon a municipal bylaw — it could generate significant interest to construct a mixture of residential homes on the property. The money, said Daly, will go towards funding other property acquisitions and capital projects.