UPDATED: Heritage status denied for Connaught building

Regina's historic Ecole Connaught Community School will be shutting its doors, to the disappointment of many parents and Cathedral residents. File / Global News

REGINA – The building that has been home to Ecole Connaught School since 1912 will not receive heritage designation from the city of Regina.

Regina city council denied the application in an 8-2 on Monday night, which would have prevented the building from being demolished. The heritage designation was pushed forward by community members in early June, and recommended by the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee.

“(Council) made sure it’s gone for my children and that my grandchildren will never see it,” said Leslie Charlton, whose children attend Connaught.

“It’s getting to the point where I think there’s little hope left,” said Amy Petrovitch, another heritage supporter with children at the school.

The Regina Public School Board voted to close Connaught at the end of this school year, and has plans to rebuild a new school at the same location in the Cathedral neighbourhood. The board, which owns the building, has not decided if it will level the building or preserve parts of it in the rebuild.

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An engineer’s report in February said Connaught was ‘on the verge of collapse‘.

Mayor Michael Fougere says it was important not to cause any delay in the rebuild process.

“(It is) outside our jurisdiction to make that decision, to stop the school from being demolished so there’s no school for two, three or four years,” Fougere said. “The children would be in another community somewhere else, and that would pull the community apart even further.”

Fougere told Global News before the meeting it is rare for a building to receive heritage designation without the desire of the owner. He expected that would carry a lot of weight with council’s decision.

Of 14 delegations before city council, the only opponent to a heritage designation for Connaught was Regina Public Schools board chair Katherine Gagne.

Ward 3 councillor Shawn Fraser attempted an amendment which would have ordered a heritage inspection of the building, but did not receive any support on the motion.

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