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School board sets clock ticking on Parkside’s sale

Sixty-day notice allows public input on potential after-uses

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is giving the public 60 days’ notice that it intends to sell Parkside High School.

Trustees emerged from a closed session on Monday to unanimously support initiating phase one of the board’s property disposition protocol for the Dundas school, slated to close in June 2015.

The move means the board will formally inform the city and residents in the vicinity of its plan, as well as hold a public meeting to allow people to consider potential after-uses for the 1.6-hectare site once it’s sold.

After the 60-day period, trustees can then vote to declare the property surplus and invite offers from a list of preferred agencies that includes other local school boards and the city.

If none is interested, it can be sold to a private buyer. In both cases, provincial regulations require the selling price to be at market value.

Dundas trustee Jessica Brennan said although she’d prefer Parkside to stay open, putting it up for sale is the culmination of a two-year decision to create a single Dundas Valley Secondary School at the Highland site on Governor’s Road.

She said “the idea of a two-campus site was an idea I that loved 10 years ago as an activist in my community,” but most people know that solution is now unrealistic given that renovations to expand Highland will begin this summer.

Parkside will stay open as a campus of Dundas Valley Secondary as the work continues through the 2014-15 school year.

Brennan suggested Dundas councillor Russ Powers – a backer of the two-campus plan – could follow the lead of Ward 11 councillor Brenda Johnson, who is pushing for the city to buy the former Winona Public School and build a recreation centre there.

“That’s always an option in Dundas,” she said. “Perhaps councillor Powers would look for ways to buy that and to turn that into a town initiative of some description, just as he did working with me on Dundas District and the playground across the street.”

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