Demolition begins on former Summerside trade school site
Building had been abandoned for nearly two decades
Demolition of the derelict remains of a former trade school site on Granville Street in Summerside began Tuesday.
The city is spending $2.3 million to clear the site for future development. Five acres of the site will be the future home of Summerside's new community health centre, announced by the province in December.
"It's been 20 years in the vision, two years in the planning and two months in the making," said Mike Thususka, director of economic development for the city of Summerside.
"We're actually realizing the final redevelopment opportunity for the former Holland College by tearing the building down."
The building has been vacant for nearly two decades and one city councillor previously called it "a disgrace" to the city.
"It certainly has a negative impact on the community. Something had to be done. We decided to take that investment and make something happen," said Thususka.
"For this area of town, obviously our commercial hub, we're trying to make some more developments popping up here. Certainly, we have some land constrictions up in this end of the town, so this helps open up another 15 acres of land for redevelopment."
The parcel of land not being transferred to the province is owned by developer Tim Bank's Pan American Properties. Plans to build 90 apartment units were announced in 2020.
"We're continuing to work with Mr. Banks and encourage him to make some more investments in this community," Thususka said.
Construction on the province's $23-million, 45,000-square-foot health centre is expected to begin in the fall.