Community weighs in on future of Creemore school

 In Opinion

The Simcoe County District School Board has begun the process of disposing of the Nottawasaga and Creemore Public School Annex, which has been declared surplus to the school board’s needs.

The charming red brick building was originally built in 1917 as the Creemore Public and Continuation School and saw many students through its doors until it was shuttered in 2014 due to declining enrolment.

The property is currently on offer to the municipality but if there is no interest from the township, the county, province or country, the school will be sold at fair market value.

We took to Facebook to ask our readers what they wanted to see become of the old school, which holds a special place in the hearts of many.

We got some great suggestions. One theme that came through was to keep the building accessible to the community. A public space for arts and culture, perhaps. Housing was another suggestion. With so much talk of seniors housing these past couple of years, people suggested it be converted to condos or apartments, with an elevator.

Many of the plans would require the investment of a developer, perhaps working in partnership with a community group. Reports from other communities state that renovating a school can be a real headache for a developer because of the community interest in the building but the result could be wonderful. Visit The Creemore Echo on Facebook to read the whole conversation.

Here’s a few of the ideas our readers have for the facility:

“I would love to see it turned into an artist co-op, similar to the Tremont. Studio and gallery spaces, with meeting space for rent to the public. It could be incredible in this town, which has so many artists and artisans.”

“I think this would be a good location for the seniors’ project which didn’t fly next to the library. Although I would miss the great fenced play area, we enjoy now.”

“Conference Center/Events Venue/hotel that also has times of the year or portions of the space that allow public access… a cafe and reading room, for example. Perhaps a performing arts center. Whatever it is, it should belong to the public… so not upscale apartments or business space. Maybe performing arts in the tourist season and artist co-op during the off-season.”

“I would love to see it turn into a museum to show the history of Creemore.”

Agricultural college, 100 Mile Farmer’s Market and Restaurant with Gardens, Whiskey Distillery.

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