If the province green-lights a 600 seat elementary school on the site of Sir John A MacDonald school, the site could become a community hub, offering a variety of social services in addition to education. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has made an agreement with six capital partners who have joined together to explore a downtown community hub. The Board is hoping it will get approval to spend nearly $31 Million on the building as its share. The contribution by the other partners–The City of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Foundation, Hamilton East Kiwanis Non-Profit Home Inc., Hamilton Health Sciences and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford is still to be negotiated
If approved the facility would feature:
- a 600-pupil place replacement elementary school for Hess and Strathcona
- a 3-room child care facility
- a Child and Family Centre
- space for the relocation of HWDSB Assessment Centre and Alternative Education
The move comes as the city contemplates the future of the First Ontario arena across the street. Councillor Sam Merulla has called for a thorough review of the future of the 18,000 seat arena, including offering the facility to the private sector for possible redevelopment. Michael Andlauer, owner of the Hamilton Bulldogs would like to see the team playing in a 5-7,000 seat facility and is prepared to invest his own money in the scheme.