The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is issuing a second request for proposals to find a developer wishing to purchase and find a new use for the 77-year-old Moncton High School — almost nine months after promising to restart the process.
Transportation Minister Claude Williams announced in the legislative assembly on Dec. 20 that only one developer came forward with the initial request for proposals to take over the historic building.
Williams told the legislature the bid from Toronto-based OMH Holdings Inc. did not meet the provincial government’s criteria, so they are re-opening the proposal process.
Williams said a decision on who would take over the building would be made in 2013.
The department, however, did not actually issue the second RFP until Thursday.
Williams said in a statement the project’s scope has been expanded to allow for leased space for government offices and for up to three non-profit organizations to become tenants.
"We are seeking a viable business development initiative that is reflective of the overall strategic plan that Moncton has for the city as an arts and cultural centre," Williams said.
"We intend to dispose of all the property in one transaction, conditional upon the purchaser's commitment to develop a higher-valued mixed use project that would breathe new life into the property, while also preserving its rich history for future generations."
The Gothic-style stone building, including the 1,200-seat theatre, must be preserved, according to the department.
The provincial government will accept proposals to take over the building until Nov. 7.
The first RFP opened on April 16 and closed on Sept. 18, 2012.
Moncton High was closed in October 2010 over health and safety concerns and the school's 1,300 students were dispersed to other schools in the city.
The school re-opened in September 2011 after extensive renovations.
Education Minister Jody Carr announced in December 2010 a new high school would be built to replace the 77-year-old school.
The new school will be constructed on the outskirts of the city near the Royal Oaks golf course.