Sudbury·Audio

Sudbury's Long Lake residents being asked to envision a new park

The site of Sudbury's former Long Lake school needs to be a place that is inviting to families, and plenty of residents are offering up their ideas on how to bring life and community back to the once-busy playground.

A public consultation meeting will take place Wednesday, April 13 to discuss the pitches

Sudbury city councillor Deb McIntosh helped broker the deal that would see the city buy the old Long Lake school. The former school property will be incorporated into the existing Long Lake Playground to give the community 12 acres of park space. (Erik White/CBC )
People in Sudbury's Long Lake community are being invited to share their ideas on the transformation of the old site of Long Lake Public School into a park. Olivia Stefanovich met with longtime area resident Carol Woodcliffe for some of her thoughts. 5:13
The site of Sudbury's former Long Lake school needs to be a place that is inviting to families, and plenty of residents are offering up their ideas on how to bring life and community back to the once-busy playground. 

The school was closed in 2012 due to budget constraints and demolished in March.

But the site is back in city hands thanks to a donation from a long-time resident, 99-year-old Lily Fielding.

The manager of community partnerships at the city told CBC News the site needs remediation.

"Right now there's the scar where the school was," Chris Gore said.

"There's also informal trails that go in behind the school-owned property, so maybe that's something the community would like to work on."

The space encompasses 12 acres.

Carol Woodliffe, who once sent her children to Long Lake School, said the sooner the property can become inviting to families again, the better.

"It wasn't uncommon on a weekend to see half-a-dozen families on the playground property just hanging out, so I'm anxious to see that kind of thing come back to this area," said Woodliffe, who is also on the playground's executive committee.

It was an anchor for the community and when you lose a building like that, you lose that anchor.-   Ward 9 Coun.  Deb McIntosh

The city councillor for the area, Deb McIntosh, said she doesn't want people to lose that sense of community.

"When the school closed, we lost our hub for this community," she said.

"It was a real hive of activity. The kids went there. There was a lot of things. It was an anchor for the community and when you lose a building like that, you lose that anchor. So we don't have a gathering place right now."

McIntosh noted they are "looking to create a complete community by providing some sort of anchor, whatever that is, through our 12 acres of park land. We don't know what that's going to look like because we need the community to come and say what they would like to see and what they would like to participate in and take some sensible ownership of."

Some ideas so far include a splash pad, a skating oval or a gym.

A public consultation meeting will take place Wednesday, April 13, 6-8 p.m. at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated the building was demolished last fall. It was demolished in March.
    Apr 05, 2016 3:18 PM ET

with files from Olivia Stefanovich

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