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Durham District School Board trying again to sell two former school sites

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

NORTH DURHAM: The Durham District School Board (DDSB) is attempting to get two former school sites, which have been declared surplus, sold.

At a meeting on Monday, May 16th, trustees saw an update report, regarding the sale process of the former Cartwright High School site in Blackstock and the former HW Knight Public School in Cannington.

After previous failed attempts to get these properties sold, the board is going through a recirculation process for the sale of these properties.

“As per Regulation 444/98, there is a 180-day period [in which] the school Board must offer the property to the following bodies, in the preferred order, at Fair Market Value,” the report stated.

These organization bodies include: French Public, English Catholic and French Catholic School Boards, Education Community Partnership Program (ECPP)-Section 23 Agencies, the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager, Local English and French Language Colleges and Universities, the lead agency for child and youth mental health, the Local Health Integration Network, the Board of Health, the Province of Ontario, the Townships of Brock and Scugog, the Region of Durham and local Indigenous organizations.

“Letters were sent to listed organizations on May 3rd, 2022, to begin the 180-day process. If there is no interest from the bodies identified above, the property is offered for sale in the open market at Fair Market Value,” the report explained.

Cartwright High School was closed in 2013, and the site was declared surplus in 2016. At that time, there was reportedly some interest in the site.

“The property was circulated for purchase through Regulation 444/98, and there was an interest in the property; however, an offer for the purchase of the property was not made. The DDSB received an official notice that the interested party decided to decline the purchase of [the] former Cartwright [High School],” the report noted.

The report also added the “Township of Scugog Council declined to purchase Cartwright HS.”

The school on the site of HW Knight P.S. had been demolished “to accommodate the excavation and removal of fuel-impacted soil,” and the school site had been circulated in 2014 for sale, but there “was no interest in the property, and it was put on the open market,” according to the report. But no sale was made there either.

DDSB Chair and North Durham trustee Carolyn Morton stressed the importance of getting these sites sold.

“These properties have not been used for a number of years, and I well remember the closing of Cartwright High School, that was in 2013. We need to be acting on these properties,” she said.

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