The For Sale signs on the old North Grenville District High School and Kemptville Public School buildings have finally brought an end to an era in education in North Grenville. Having been deemed surplus by the Upper Canada District School Board, the two schools were listed on December 12. NGDHS is listed at $350,000, and KPS for $550,000.
The buildings are an attractive proposition for the creative developer. NGDHS on Prescott Street is an iconic building, and comes with 3.45 acres of land, 45 rooms as well as a gymnasium. This is the kind of building that could be transformed into condominiums, as has been done in other communities where similar abandoned high schools have become residences.
In Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, the local municipality entered into a partnership with a developer, keeping ownership of the gymnasium and part of the building, while the developer could sell or lease the condominium units. That gymnasium now contains the local library and the main auditorium is rented out for concerts and other events. A win-win situation that might be considered by North Grenville for the NGDHS building.
It would be a worthy use of this building, first erected in 1936 to replace the earlier High School on the site which had been burned to the ground, apparently by disgruntled students. It was originally a composite High School and Public School, but a growing student population required that a separate site had to be found to house the Public School body in 1958. The High School building was added to in 1954, 1960 and 1971, when new wings and a library were added.
The old Public School on Reuben Crescent, dating originally from 1958, also has a large tract of land included, 3.85 acres in all, and the building contains 20 rooms, and a gymnasium. The UCDSB has handed the buildings over to real estate agents and has assured potential buyers about the absence of asbestos or other issues that might put off potential buyers.