cSPACE chiller at King Edward School sparks protest

Some people living in south Calgary say their concerns about a noisy project are falling on deaf ears.

Historic sandstone school being transformed into creative hub for artists, non-profits

South Calgary resident Roger Hamilton says a large cooling unit planned for the redevelopment of the King Edward School will be far too noisy. (CBC)

Some people living in south Calgary say their concerns about a noisy project are falling on deaf ears.

They are trying to stop the installation of a large cooling unit just metres from their homes as part of the redevelopment of King Edward School into cSPACE, a block-wide hub for artists to live and work.

“This is going to be the loudest, largest street-side air conditioning chiller ever placed in a residential neighbourhood in the history of Calgary,” said Roger Hamilton, who lives across the street from the project.

The eight-fan cooling unit developers plan to install outside the re-purposed King Edward School will lower property values, some residents say. (CBC)

“It’s going to destroy our way of life, it’s going to decrease the value of our homes.”

Roger Hamilton said he has spent months trying to convince cSPACE and city officials to come up a quieter air conditioning solution for the historic sandstone school.

Company trying to minimize the noise

But cSPACE president Reid Henry said the company is trying its best to minimize the noise and that it will not violate the city's noise bylaw.

"I recognize that sound is an anxiety driving concern in neighbours and I completely respect that, but I think everything we've done to date has delivered a best practice,” he said.

The historic sandstone King Edward School is being transformed into to multi-disciplinary ‘hub’ facility for artists, small non-profits and early-stage social entrepreneurs. (cSPACE)

Henry said he plans to meet with the community association next week to try to find a reasonable solution to the dispute. 

Hamilton said he initially supported the project. 

“Even though it’s going to radically increase the density and the traffic, people still thought, you know, there are sacrifices we have to make in order to support this. And we were all very willing to do it," he said. 

Hamilton and his neighbours are starting a petition asking corporations, governments and individuals not to give money to cSPACE, which is seeking donations through the Calgary Foundation.

“The only way we can stop them is if we can starve them of their money," Hamilton said.