98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hanover Not Interested in Old School

Hanover | by Robyn Garvey  

The Town cites liability risk as reason they won't put in a bid for JDSS.

The Bluewater District School Board has provided Hanover notice that JDSS is for sale.

A special adhoc committee was struck to investigate the offer and that report is now in.

After careful consideration, the Town of Hanover will not be putting in a bid for JDSS (John Diefenbaker Secondary School).

The liability risk says Councilor Steve Fitzsimmons was too great.

An environmental firm has identified a significant quantity of asbestos in various forms in several building materials.

Conservative estimates peg the cost at 6.3 million dollars for the abatement of the asbestos or 1.9 million for a complete demolition of the building.

Because of these factors, Fitzsimons says Council felt the building posed to high a liability and fianncial risk for taxpayers.

Instead, Council believes the JDSS property would be best served by the private development sector.

The eight acres of land says Fitzsimons would provide a beautiful location for residential housing, staff report it could support up to 80 new homes in Hanover.

The Town currently has a shortage of land for residential development.

Fitzsimons says Council would love to see affordable housing development on the property as there is a great need in Hanover and Grey County as a whole for this type of development project.

Grey County has a very low vacancy rate of around 1% for one bedroom housing.

There is a current waitlist of 110 for a one bedroom in Hanover, and it can take over three years for an offer of housing in Hanover.

The waitlist for Grey County is over 800.

So while Hanover can not force developers to purchase the JDSS property, the Town certainly encourages developers to consider the land which the Town believes is brimming with residential potential.

As part of Ministry regulations, the Bluewater District School Board provided notification of the surplus property to a number of bodies including the Town of Hanover.

If no expression of interest comes forth within in a set time period, the Bluewater Distrct School Board will be free to sell the property on open market.


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