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City of Burlington hoping to purchase Robert Bateman high school site

The city of Burlington hopes to create an education hub at the Robert Bateman High School site, now that the property has been declared surplus by Halton's public school board. Nick Westoll / Global News

The City of Burlington, Ont., will be submitting an expression of interest to purchase the Robert Bateman high school site.

The city’s plans include exploring a partnership with Brock University to offer post-secondary programming on the site and relocating the Burlington Public Library’s Appleby Line branch to the location.

Read more: Brock University’s Hamilton campus moving to Burlington

The Halton District School Board, on Wednesday, declared the Bateman property surplus to its needs.

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Brock University signed a memorandum of understanding last fall to work with Burlington to relocate programming currently offered at its campus in Hamilton’s east end.

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“It’s great that it will remain a community gathering space,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed-Ward, “and it’s also great that it will remain a place of education at two levels.”

In addition to Brock University relocating its faculty of education, Meed-Ward notes that Halton’s public school board aims to hold on to a portion of the Bateman site as home to its adult education program.

“We’re excited to be working with our partners at the City of Burlington on the next step of this collaboration,” said Brock University President Gervan Fearon, “with the goal of better serving our students and the wider community.”

Read more: Burlington’s mayor says future growth will ‘reflect the community’s vision’

When a board declares a school site surplus, it is required by provincial regulation to offer it for sale first to a list of preferred organizations, with the goal of keeping the property in public ownership.

“There is a 90-day window, where there’s an order of people that can approach and express an interest,” noted Meed-Ward. “The first in line are other educational institutions, like other school boards, the city is sort of among the group of agencies that is second in line.”

“We’re pretty confident,” said Meed-Ward, “that we’ll be next at-bat, as it were, and be able to enter into discussions.”

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