Buyer vows to breathe new life into landmark
Sandstone building will be preserved
Sarah McGinnisCalgary Herald
Saturday, November 10, 2007
New life is coming to King Edward School now that a private developer has purchased the historic building.
The Calgary Board of Education announced Friday it sold the 95-year-old school and 1.25 hectares surrounding it to Lake Placid Group for $14.1 million.
"We're very excited. This is a 1912 landmark. Lake Placid is really looking forward to continuing that historic opportunity and to build something that's going to be retained for another hundred years," said company CEO Michael Lobsinger.
He would not indicate whether the firm plans to build condominiums, homes or a commercial project on the site.
The property, zoned residential, will probably face rezoning as converting the existing school into condos, stores or mixed-use space would violate current city building bylaws.
Much of the fields surrounding the sandstone school could also see new construction as part of a number of plans Lake Placid has for the property.
King Edward School isn't a designated heritage site and is not protected from demolition. The property is, however, included in the city's inventory of potential heritage buildings and has considerable historic value.
Neighbours and community groups are taking a wait-and-see approach to the project.
There are concerns about the loss of green space in the neighbourhood and apprehension over developments that may not fit into the largely residential area, said South Calgary Community Association spokeswoman Robin McLeod.
"Because King Edward has played a public role in our community since 1912, we're hoping that there will be some public component to it so it will be forever open in some capacity to the public," said McLeod.
The preservation of King Edward School was one of the main conditions of the sale, said CBE board chairwoman Pat Cochrane.
"We know our sandstone schools are very important to the history of Calgary and are some of the very few historical buildings still existing in Calgary. It was very important to us that whoever was the successful bidder would maintain this facility," said Cochrane.
The $14.1 million sale price for the school is $3.2 million more than expected.
© The Calgary Herald 2007