Nova Scotia

Halifax won't re-examine development of Bloomfield site until late spring

Halifax plans to look for another company to redevelop the former Bloomfield school site in the city's north end after new planning rules are adopted.

'This whole process has been taking a long, long time,' says Coun. Russell Walker

Halifax plans to look for another company to redevelop the former Bloomfield school site in the city's north end, likely by late spring. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Halifax plans to look for another company to redevelop the former Bloomfield school site in the city's north end after new planning rules are adopted.

"Following the Centre Plan, we'll get the property out to a [request for proposal], probably in late spring," said Peter Stickings, the Halifax Regional Municipality's manager of real estate.

The 1.3-hectare lot was awarded to Housing Nova Scotia in 2012. But the province walked away from the affordable housing project four years later.

In 2017, there was some interest expressed by parents and French school board officials in using the site for a new francophone school. But the province threw cold water on that idea in a letter sent to the municipality in January.

"They signalled to us that it is highly unlikely that should the decision be made to construct a French school on the peninsula that would be a site they would recommend," said Jacques Dubé, the municipality's chief administrative officer. 

In 2017, there was some interest expressed by parents and French school board officials in using the site for a new francophone school. But the province threw cold water on that idea in January. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The situation disappoints Coun. Russell Walker.

"This whole process has been taking a long, long time," he said. "And here we are back to Square 1."

Meanwhile, the three empty buildings on the property are deteriorating, with the structure known as the Common building being in the worst shape.

"There's probably not much you can do to slow its decay," said Stickings. 

But the heritage buildings on the site have been promised to the arts community and Stickings said staff plan to honour that part of the Bloomfield Masterplan. There will be a separate report on the condition of the buildings, he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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