There's a last minute push to keep Barrie Central Collegiate a place of learning. 

Damian Spaulding has a big idea to turn Barrie Central into a private school for music and the arts. His goal is to accommodate students between Kindergarten and Grade 12.

"To enable others to achieve the same things and experience the same things, it was life changing for me, and I’m touched by being able to offer this to be life changing for hundreds of others.”

The only problem now is getting the $12-million needed to make a bid for the property. The school board is putting it up for sale in the next few weeks.

"We’re starting the listing process for the school,” says John Dance, superintendent of facility services for the Simcoe County District School Board. “We expect it to be listed in the next couple of weeks; probably by the middle of March."

The board says the buyer will have some work to do to keep the aging school in service.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman likes the idea of keeping a school on the property.

"I think having students on the site is a huge benefit. It’s one of the things we're concerned we are going to lose with the high school.”

However, he knows there will be a lot of interest in this prime piece of real estate.

"We’re just eager to see a really good proposal that will contribute as an anchor for the downtown," he says.

Spaulding knows he has a tall order ahead of him and says he's going to waste no time looking for potential donors and plans to hold events to raise the money needed.