New Brunswick

The future of former Moncton High: A call centre and more than 1,000 parking spaces

The developer of the former Moncton High is requesting the city rezone the land from community use to mixed use to allow for commercial tenants like a call centre, as well as the addition of 900 parking spaces.

Plans are to extend the building and develop 2 entrances, 1 for commercial, 1 for arts space

A new entrance is being planned for the north side of the building. The commercial areas and arts areas will have separate entrances. (Submitted)

The developer of the former Moncton High School is requesting city officials rezone land from community use to mixed use, allowing for commercial tenants like a call centre, as well as the addition of 900 parking spaces to the lot and former football field.

The heritage building was the topic of much discussion over the past two years while it sat empty. Last month it was announced the building would be bought by Heritage Developments Limited.

The former high school currently has about 100 parking spaces, but the new property owner is requesting the addition of 351 stalls to the existing lot adjoining the school property, and the creation of a 559 space parking lot further down Church street on top of the school's former football field.

Bill Budd, director of urban planning addressed the request to create 10 times more parking spaces admitting "it appears first glance the parking is excessive." But Budd explained that with a call centre there may be two or three overlapping shifts throughout the course of a day. (Tori Weldon /CBC)

At the Moncton city council meeting on Tuesday night, Bill Budd, director of urban planning addressed the request to create 10 times more parking spaces. 

"It appears first glance the parking is excessive."

But Budd explained that with a call centre there may be two or three overlapping shifts throughout the course of a day.

"Not all workers are coming and leaving at the same time."

The developers will be responsible for putting together a traffic impact study to see how parking hundreds more cars in the neighbourhood will impact the community.

"If there's need for access points or entrances or modifications to the site, they'll have to do that to bring it to compliance with the recommendations from the study."

Mayor Dawn Arnold added that the city will be meeting with residents to ensure people understand the project.

Mayor Dawn Arnold says the city will be speaking with people living near the former Moncton High building to address any community concerns before the rezoning is back before council. (Tori Weldon/CBC)
"There will be a public hearing on Nov. 16, but prior to that there will be some sort of public engagement session so that everyone can get up to speed on what's happening," said Arnold.

The report presented to city council states the building will be expanded by approximately 10,000 square feet inside the court yard. But Budd told council the major historic features of the building will remain intact.

"There is some modification to the exterior on the north side … they are proposing a new entrance for the commercial mixed use tenants," said Budd.

According to the city council report, Moncton High currently has about 100 parking spaces. The developer proposes adding approximately 900 more. The former football field will be converted into 590 parking stalls. A traffic impact study will be conducted to see how Church Street will be affected. (Submitted)

He added, "the south side of the building will be primarily for the cultural, non-profit, arts stages of development."

The former football field between Wheeler Boulevard and Marjorie Street will be converted to a parking lot, with a section of land being set aside as a buffer zone between the traffic and the neighbourhood.

A playground that encroaches on to the lot will be sectioned off, given back to the province. Budd said the land will be transfered to the city of Moncton and remain a park. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tori Weldon

Reporter

Tori Weldon is a reporter based in Moncton. She's been working for the CBC since 2008.

now