King Edward School news

Status of new or continuing risks to heritage sites

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King Edward School news

Postby newsposter » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:34 am

Thread updated October 2012 - see the postings on the final page of this thread.



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March 2006 article.


Future of 94-year-old school in doubt

By Duncan Kinney
Calgary Journal http://www.calgaryjournal.ca

Image
Photo: Alison Jackson photo collection, Calgary Public Library website.

King Edward school, a hulking old sandstone building, lies in the middle of the community of Richmond, boarded up and unused.

The school, at 1720 30th Ave. S.W., was closed by the Calgary Board of Education, or CBE, in 2001, was leased to the Francophone School Board until 2003, and has since sat vacant. “Fifty thousand dollars is probably a minimum of what it costs us every year to maintain that building,” said Graham White, a spokesperson for the CBE. The school, which opened in 1912, requires a massive overhaul to be usable.

Heather McLachlan, a spokesperson with Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation, confirmed the presence of asbestos in the building, citing a review done in 2001, when it was estimated that the cost of removing the known carcinogen would be approximately $200,000. White said: “It’s a very old building and requires upgrades in just about everything: electrical, plumbing, we have the original boiler. There is an extensive amount of renovations needed; it would be in the millions certainly.”

The CBE requested that the building be put up for sale. According to McLachlan, that request is currently under review by Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation, whose guidelines must be adhered to.

Richmond–area residents are concerned about the future of the building.
“I don’t want them to put a big condo there,” said Carole Poirier, who lives in the community and whose children went to King Edward.
Jerome Brenner, another parent whose children went to King Edward, also expressed concern about letting the school sit unoccupied.
“That’s a waste of our funds and we don’t have enough core funding for our schools as it is,” Brenner said. “They’re spending $50,000 a year and not doing anything with it.” Ami Wearmouth, another local resident, said the decrepit building is shameful. “It seems a waste to just let it sit there,” Wearmouth said.

As for reopening the school, that’s not really an option, according to White.
“There will never be the demographics to open that school again,” White said. “There is probably something in the area of 30 school-age students in that community and the capacity of King Edward is about 500 kids, so it’s just not viable.”

However the option of selling and then developing it into condominiums is not off the table. “If Alberta Infrastructure comes back to us and says that they can’t find any further use for the site, that’s one of the options we’d look at but we’re not going to put any resources into that until we know what the status of the building is,” White said.

Darryl Cariou, senior heritage planner of the city planning department, said the school is included on the province's (sic - I think that should be 'municipal' - newsposter) inventory of potential heritage sites. “It’s been substantiated that it has some significant heritage value,” Cariou said. Cariou added that the building is not officially protected and that the list is only for prospective heritage sites.

“One of the worst situations a historic building can be in is sitting vacant,” Cariou said. “Vacant heritage buildings are much more susceptible to fires than those that have active uses. “There are examples all over North America of school buildings that have been converted to other uses. With a creative approach I would be optimistic that there would be a use for that building.” One idea suggested at a community meetings was that before the school’s closure, they could use the school as a historical teaching resource. However, White said the CBE has no plans to do so.

- The Calgary Journal is published by students in the journalism program at Mt. Royal College and serves southwest Calgary communities and businesses. www.calgaryjournal.ca

- See also the Calgary Public Library's virtual tour of historic Calgary for more images from the Alison Jackson collection http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/calgary ... /tours.htm
Last edited by newsposter on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:53 pm, edited 17 times in total.
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Postby newsposter » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:31 pm

This item added to the agenda for the 'in camera' portion of the City Council meeting of Monday, 2006 September 18: LAS2006-119 KING EDWARD SCHOOL: FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL

CHI members had heard that the vacated sandstone school had been declared 'surplus' and therefore might be sold by the province/CBE. See the above post for more on the school. There was an in camera discussion at the meeting, after which several motions regarding LAS2006-119 were passed in open Council which refer not only to King Edward School, but school lands generally, and likely refer to the current issue regarding Carl Safran and Connaught schools in the Beltline. The Beltline area alderman, Madeleine King, was moving the motions.

Here is a link to more on that issue: http://www.calgaryheritage.org/CHIForum/vi ... 2492d710aa

This is a bit of supposition as the contents of LAS2006-119 and what was discussed in camera remain confidential. It's a bit like listening to one half of a telephone conversation. These seem to be some issues:

- Council is "requesting the (provincial) Minister to place a moratorium on the future disposition of school lands in Calgary"

- Council is "requesting the Mayor to meet with the Province to review options for a collaborative approach to the school lands issue including but not limited to requesting the Minister place a moratorium on the future disposition of school lands in Calgary."

- There are "strategic meetings with the Calgary Board of Education", which is one of the reasons for keeping the LAS2006-119 Report and Recommendations confidential


Here are the actual minutes which, without the material being referenced, are a bit cryptic. Enjoy!


LAS2006-119 KING EDWARD SCHOOL: FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL

AMENDMENT, Moved by Alderman Colley-Urquhart, Seconded by Alderman McIver, that the Recommendations contained in Report LAS2006-119 be amended by adding an amendment to Recommendation 5, following the words “school lands issue”, as follows:

“including but not limited to requesting the Minister place a moratorium on the future disposition of school lands in Calgary.”

CARRIED

AMENDMENT, Moved by Alderman Hodges, Seconded by Alderman Colley-Urquhart, that the Recommendations contained in Report LAS2006-119 be further amended, by referring Recommendation 4 to Administration for a further report to the 2006 November 14 Regular Meeting of the Land and Asset Strategy Committee.

OPPOSED: Alderman Erskine
CARRIED


Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Erskine,

That the Land and Asset Strategy Committee Recommendation 1 contained in Report LAS2006-119 be adopted.

CARRIED


Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Erskine,

That the Land and Asset Strategy Committee Recommendation 2 contained in Report LAS2006-119 be adopted.

ROLL CALL VOTE

For: Aldermen Colley-Urquhart, Erskine, Fox-Mellway, Hawkesworth, Hodges, Lowe, Burrows, Ceci and Chabot
Against: Aldermen Farrell, King, Larocque, McIver and Mayor Bronconnier

CARRIED


Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Erskine,

That the Land and Asset Strategy Committee Recommendation 3 contained in Report LAS2006-119 be adopted.

CARRIED


AS AMENDED, Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Erskine,

That Council:

5. Request the Mayor to meet with the Province to review options for a collaborative approach to the school lands issue including but not limited to requesting the Minister place a moratorium on the future disposition of school lands in Calgary.

OPPOSED: Aldermen Lowe and Larocque

CARRIED


Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Erskine,

6. That the Report and Recommendations remain confidential following the in camera discussion pursuant to Section 24 (1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and completion of strategic meetings with the Calgary Board of Education.

OPPOSED: Alderman McIver

CARRIED


Moved by Alderman King, Seconded by Alderman Erskine,

That the Land and Asset Strategy Committee Recommendation 7 contained in Report LAS2006-119 be adopted.

CARRIED
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Postby newsposter » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:03 am

Calgary Heritage Authority has asked the Province to designate King Edward school in South Calgary. A new use is being sought. See above for more.

Any more information? Post below or send a note to info@calgaryheritage.org
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Postby newsposter » Thu May 03, 2007 1:05 pm

The Calgary Board of Education has put the historic King Edward School site up for sale. Copies of the 'expression of interest' document are apparently available at CBE HQ. See above for more history on this ^.

CBC radio inteview (ram audio file): http://cbc.ca/calgary/media/audio/eyeop ... NG_EDW.ram
"Jim spoke to Frank Coppinger of the Calgary Board of Education. The CBE is putting King Edward School up for sale. The sandstone building has been in the neighbourhood of South Calgary since 1912. (3:54)"

Story excerpt below. Full story (free as of posting) here:
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 76c1ef222f

95-year-old school expected to fetch $11M

Sarah McGinnis
Calgary Herald

Friday, May 04, 2007

The estimated price is at least $10.8 million for the southwest property, which includes the original 1912 sandstone building and 1.25 hectares of land...A ll bids must be submitted to the school board by June 15.

King Edward is one of 19 sandstone schools constructed in Calgary between 1894 and 1914... King Edward School isn't a designated heritage site, so it's not protected from demolition, said Darryl Cariou, the city's senior heritage planner.

It is, however, listed as a category A site on Calgary's inventory of potential heritage sites, and has historic value. The first principal was former Alberta premier William Aberhart. The structure has also been a prominent landmark in southwest Calgary for almost 100 years, said Cariou.

The CBE will give special consideration to any buyer who promises to maintain and restore the sandstone building, said Coppinger.

smcginnis@theherald.canwest.com

© The Calgary Herald 2007
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Postby newsposter » Wed May 09, 2007 9:02 am

Herald Story May 9 on the pending sale of King Edward school. Except below. Click the link for full story (free as of this posting).

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... f66ee5d044

NEW :arrow: City TV story: http://www.citytv.com/calgary/yourcity_43547.aspx

If you want the CBE to ensure the protection of the school before selling it (e.g. by designating it a an historic site), contact your trustees:

http://www.cbe.ab.ca/contactus/default.asp

The doors of the old school have been closed for at least two years. And when they are reopened, the classrooms may be offices or apartments.

Or the building could be torn down for good.

"It's hard for me to speculate," said Sherri Lambourne, leasing and property specialist with the Calgary Board of Education's capital planning and management service department.

"We are remaining optimistic, we are really encouraging proposals that will retain the historical integrity of the sandstone structure."
Last edited by newsposter on Fri May 18, 2007 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chris E » Wed May 09, 2007 12:48 pm

Zzebian on Skyscraperpage.com has posted more information on the site:


including these facts:

• Just over 3 acres
• Non Historic Status Designation (Category A Bldg)
• Tender will favor retention of building
• Building area 7509.7 m2
• 4 floors
• 2 additions made to building (1956 & 1967)
• Minimum price $10,800,000
• Bids close June 15th

See link: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpos ... count=4010

for more info
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Postby newsposter » Thu May 10, 2007 10:10 am

Link to a 1999 provincial report on the physical condition of King Edward school and other schools (listed alphabetically).

http://www.infratrans.gov.ab.ca/INFTRA_ ... School.htm
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Postby Chris E » Fri May 11, 2007 7:28 am

King Edward Expression of Interest:

http://www.calgaryheritage.org/images/K ... %20EOI.pdf
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Postby newsposter » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:10 pm

Calgary heritage activist/writer Irena Karshenbaum on the sale and possible demolition of King Edward School.

http://www.am770chqr.com/station/blog_c ... ?bid=11823

Excerpt:
The King Edward School must be allowed to be restored by a developer with a track record for doing heritage restoration. The building should not be sold to any other party because its a national treasure and should be preserved for the enjoyment of all. A creative and innovative developer will be able to think of a mixed use solution for the 1.25 hectares of surrounding property.
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Postby newsposter » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:04 pm

June 16, 2007 - the Calgary Herald reports that the CBE received 6 expressions of interest on the King Edward school site as of the June 15 deadline.
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Postby newsposter » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:19 pm

June 26, 2007

Carol Bazinet
Nancy Close
Pat Cochrane
Gordon Dirks
Kyle Fawcett
Lynn Ferguson
George Lane

cc. Brendan Croskey, Chief Superintendent

Board Members, Calgary Board of Education,

The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society is writing with concern regarding
the proposed sale of King Edward School.

Our sandstone schools are historical and architectural treasures, and the
CBE has been their steward on behalf of the people of Calgary and Alberta.

King Edward is particularly rich in history, and is a "Category A" site
on the City of Calgary heritage inventory. ("Category A" buildings and
sites are worthy of consideration for designation under the Historical
Resources Act. Source: City of Calgary website.) The loss of the school to
development, or loss of historic significance due to inappropriate
renovation, would be tragic for the community as a whole.

Preservation of heritage is important to Calgarians and Albertans, and our
governments have policies and make representations to encourage private
owners to preserve heritage buildings. If the public owners of heritage
assets, including the CBE, do not take responsibility for protecting these
assets, how can we ask private owners to do differently?

The Calgary Board of Education is steward of a sandstone legacy, and you
have it in your power to ensure that King Edward School is preserved for
posterity even if it is sold. We ask that you secure the school as a
designated provincial or municipal heritage site prior to the sale, or
place a caveat on the property that protects the heritage, or take other
effective means that may be available to you to absolutely ensure that the
building and its historic value is preserved.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

Regards,


Janet Woolgar
President, Calgary Heritage Initiative Society
info@calgaryheritage.org
www.calgaryheritage.org
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Postby newsposter » Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:34 am

July 12, 2007
Ms J. Woolgar
President
Calgary Heritage Initiative Society

Dear Janet,

Thank you for your June 26, 2007 email, addressed to the Trustees, concerning the Calgary Board of Education’s sale of the King Edward School. (see above for letter ^)

In accordance with the Province of Alberta School Act and Alberta Regulation 3/2001 (Disposition of Property Regulation), the Calgary Board of Education has approved disposition of King Edward School and is currently seeking disposition through public tender.

The school and lands are being sold “as is” in terms of building and land use status.

Although the designation of historic sites is not within the mandate of the Calgary Board of Education, the CBE recognizes the importance of preserving heritage buildings. The public tender documents for the sale of King Edward School do encourage proposals which would retain the original sandstone structure in the bidder’s proposed plans. Administration is optimistic that the successful bidder will not only retain the historic 1912 sandstone structure, but will also restore the building, which is need of repair.

The purchaser of the property will require City approval of any change in the current use of the site. As you know, community consultations are a key component in the consideration of any change of use applications.

It is expected that a CBE Board decision on the disposition of the property will be made early in the 2007/08 school year.

Sincerely
(signed)
Patricia Cochrane, Chair
Calgary Board of Education
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Postby newsposter » Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:21 pm

Articles free as of posting:

Irena Karshenbaum in the August 14 Herald. "King Edward School Needs a Champion"

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 52ec4e1366

The CBE's response letter August 16; "Don't give the CBE failing grade in heritage"

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... fbe2144c4f
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Postby newsposter » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:41 pm

Sept 13 2007

Word has it that the successful bidder for King Edward school has been chosen. We don't know who it is yet. Do you? Let us know!
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Postby newsposter » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:28 pm

Lake Placid developments is the successful bidder. News conference to be held November 9.
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