Future of many vacant schools remains unresolved

Published on March 18, 2014
I.J. Samson Junior High is among the many facilities which sit vacant across the province.
— Photos by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District has many vacant properties on its books.

Some 18 properties are vacant as of this date — seven in the Eastern region, four in central region, six in the Western region and one in Labrador.

In the metro region, the dormant schools are I. J. Sampson Junior High  on Bennett Avenue in St. John’s, Macpherson Elementary on Newtown Road in St. John’s and All Saints Primary off Dunns Hill Road in Foxtrap.

And metro will have two more empty schools once the new west end high school is built — Bishop’s College and Booth — once it opens in fall 2015. Empty schools can remain in limbo for years.

According to the school board, the district is bound by the Documentation of Integration and the Schools Act,  as well as agreements with the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The status on each school varies and the district is trying to conclude the disposition of the properties as quickly as possible. Each disposition must be approved by the board of trustees and the minister of Education.

In addition, the provincial government will soon put up for sale two buildings it owns in Pleasantville, but is retaining the former Grace Hospital site for future development.

In St. John’s, the province also owns a four-acre plus property that was the site of the former Nagles Hill School and there are no plans to sell it, according to Transportation and Works. The school has been demolished.

The Pleasantville properties are Building 801 and Building 810.

The Grace Hospital site — located on LeMarchant Road on the edge of downtown — where the now delapidated former nurses residence and a former storage building still stand, has been one of the most speculated sites with possible future uses including a courthouse complex.

Also in the area is a former dermatology clinic located on 249-251 LeMarchant Rd.

Three properties on the former Janeway Hospital site have either been demolished or are in the process of being demolished.

 

telegram@thetelegram.com

 

Shuttered schools

The following is a list of shuttered schools in the province and when they closed:

Eastern

I.J. Sampson, June 2011.

Macpherson, June 2011.

All Saints, June 1999.

Harbour Grace Primary, June 2013.

Davis Elementary, June 2013.

Clarenville Primary, June 2011.

Epiphany Elementary, June 2013.

Central: Former Grand Falls Academy (Maple Street), March 2008.

Baie Verte Middle, June 2005.

Baie Verte High, June 2011.

Baie Verte Primary, June 2011.

 

Western

St. Theresa’s, June 2010.

Roncalli, June 2010.

Our Lady of Labrador, June 2010.

Bayview High (Griquet), June 2013.

Harroit Curtis Collegiate, November 2013.

St. Anthony Elementary, November 2013.

 

Labrador

Robert Leckie, June 1998.