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Maplewood Hall demolition all set to go

Tender awarded to Hamilton firm as project get NEC’s OK

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

The demolition of a former Dundas Valley outdoor education centre is set to begin next month following the awarding of the contract to a Hamilton firm.

Budget Environmental Disposal Inc. beat out seven other companies with a low bid of $77,457 for the work, which will remove Maplewood Hall, a house and a washroom building as part of a plan to return the 13-hectare Artaban Road property to nature.

The bid, approved last week by Hamilton Conservation Authority directors, was not only nearly $100,000 cheaper than the highest tender, but below the $85,000 budgeted by staff.

“We get to work with a firm that we’ve worked with before,” chief administrative officer Chris Firth Eagland said, noting the demolition has already received approval from the Niagara Escarpment Commission.

He said the property’s basic naturalization work will take place this fall, with “the finer details” set for next year.

While the authority had budgeted $40,000 for the demolition, it is also receiving $213,000 in donations for the overall project from opponents of an initial proposal to rent Maplewood Hall to a private Dundas school.

It was the third such plan to succumb to vehement opposition, joining previous ones to rent the former Resource Management Centre to a yoga group and a private Ancaster school.

Firth-Eagland has previously said key elements of the re-naturalization project will include converting the access road into a narrower pathway, restoring the forest canopy and possibly enhancing the stream.

The work won’t disturb a chapel and gravestones, remnants from when the Anglican Church owned the property, located in a provincially significant, environmentally sensitive area that supports several rare and threatened birds.

But it will likely provide a small pavilion for hikers to rest and get a drink from an existing waterline, he said.

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