Burlington City Staff say it will cost $72 Million to convert the former Robert Bateman High School into a community hub. Staff are proposing an ambitious construction schedule that would see the building ready for occupancy in the fall of 2024, which means the projects needs to go to tender as quickly as possible. The staff timetable calls for the contractor to be identified and the project tendered by next March. When complete, the former school will house a Brock University Burlington campus, a branch of Burlington Public Library, Burlington Economic Development’s TechPlace, adult programs operated by Halton District School Board as well as space for Burlington Community Culture programs including a triple gymnasium and amenities .
The $72 Million figure includes $5 Million for energy efficiency upgrades. It also includes $11 Million for further energy upgrades that would be dependent on obtaining grants from senior government.
In addition to the energy upgrades, design features include:
- New front entrance, open collaborative corridors and seating connecting the front to the rear of the facility.
- New central staircase and elevator
- Meeting room spaces
- Refreshed gymnasium
- Library programs
- TechPlace Office spaces
- Halton District School Board adult program classrooms and administration spaces
- Brock University educational classrooms and administration spaces.
The city will reach into a number of pots to finance the project. $57 Million will be borrowed through debentures. $12 million of that amount will be paid off through the rents paid by the various tenants The tenants will also kick in $7 million to pay for the costs of renovating their space. $4 Million will be financed through the annual dividend paid to the City by Burlington Hydro, and another $4 Million is expected to come from senior governments. Including the $8 million difference between what the city paid for the school and the amount it received in a land swap with the Halton Board of Education, the total cost of the project is Roughly $80 Million. Staff acknowledge the size of the project, noting, “The investment is sizeable and … requires a financing strategy that maximizes the use of funding tools at the City’s (disposal).” Which might include corporate sponsorship. Annual operating costs are estimated at $1.8 million, half of which would be recovered from tenants.
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