A community in Bracebridge is learning about new plans to revamp an iconic school house. The old Bracebridge High school is more than 90 years old, and while it’s no longer home to classes, a developer hopes it will soon be home to dozens of families.
The school has been sitting vacant since it closed in 2007. A condominium project was previously in the works for the site, but it came to a halt last year when the property went into receivership. Today, the new owners held a launch event, where area residents got to learn more about the plans for the project.
"We are historians and lovers of all things historical, so when an opportunity like this arises to participate in the transformation of a historical space into something that's newly viable, it's really exciting to us”, says Angela Durante. She and her husband are from Uxbridge, and they’re interested in owning a piece of the historic property.
McMurray Development Inc. bought the space in August. They tell CTV News the new owner bought it under the power of sale after the previous owner went into receivership.
The plan is for the original school building to be transformed into about a dozen lofts. Next to the school, developers are planning to build two-storey townhouses and condominiums.
“It will more cater to 55 plus demographics. It will have higher end finishes, we're trying to keep them as a standards throughout the whole project”, says Branka Dzelajlija from McMrray Development Inc.
The project is still very much in its early stages, but if given the green light, the developer plans to hire local contractors. "The new owners will try to use to local trades, we don't have yet the general contractor assigned to the project”, says Dzelajlija.
Bracebridge resident Cathy Smith has lived in the area for 35 years. She says she’s happy to see the old school with so much history get repurposed. “It’s been quite an eye-sore ... for the last few years... so hopefully this development company is going to fix it up and actually do something with it”, says Smith.
McMurray Development Incorporated still has to submit a site plan approval to the town of Bracebridge. Pending approval, the developer hopes shovels will be in the ground by spring of 2018.