Bateman: How much space is the public getting for that $100 million ? No one is really sure

By Pepper Parr

June 5th, 2023



What do we know about when the public is going to get to say anything about the Robert Bateman High school conversion to a community hub ?

Not much – and not nearly enough. The communication on the project has been terrible and there are few signs that it is going to get any better.  Roll your cursor over the graphic to enlarge

The plan as given to the public on June 1st.

We do know that the cost at this point is $100 million – the Mayor let that slip during a TVO program she took part in.

We also know now that the public will get to take part in the “visioning” from June to September – there was nothing more specific than that.

What has never been all that clear is – just how much space is there going to be for the public to use?

Steve Paikin of TVO asking Mayor Meed Ward: Did you pay $100 million for an old school?

Councillor Sharman said: “I continue to be puzzled by the number of square feet we’re actually getting out of this. I think 240,000 was the size of the And half of that was going to go to the Brock University and half was going to the school board and so that was going to leave us 120,000 square feet.

We’ve got Tech Place, the library, the swimming pool – somehow we end up with 30,000 square feet. Could somebody reconcile all that for us? Maybe in the letter before Council, I don’t know. This is just surprising the heck out of me and I’ve been waiting for a bigger number.

Councillor Sharman did learn that the 30,000 square feet is bigger than the total area of the Seniors’ Centre.

The space at the Bateman site that will be available for public use was described as being more than the space at the Seniors’ Centre.

That gave people an idea is as to just how big this public space was going to be. Who got to use it and under what circumstances was something that is being worked on.

Ward 6 Councillor and Deputy Mayor Paul Sharman.

He made the point that “we know how much the school board is going to rent from us; we know how much Brock University is going to rent from us; we know how much space the library will take up; we know how much Tech Place will use.

The way Sharman saw it there was going to be approximately 21,000 square feet of dedicated recreational space and an additional 9000 of temporary space.

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1 comment to Bateman: How much space is the public getting for that $100 million ? No one is really sure

  • Jim Thomson

    I guess Councillor Sharman was having a seniors moment.
    Councillor Kearns asked for the “net new” breakdown at the EICS in December.
    The breakdown is in a memo from Tim Commisso that is part of the December Council minutes.
    The only piece of information that wasn’t presented in December was that the Phase 2 “Shell Space” is actually reserved for future tenant growth.

    Many of the questions asked of Emilie and Kwab had nothing to do with the actual communication and engagement plan. They were questions that should have been asked of Tim Commisso and Alan Magi when they were saying that public engagement could wait till Phase 2. Emilie and Kwab have been given the task of trying to fix a broken process.
    I don’t think any communication plan can fix the fact that the public was misinformed about parking.
    I’m looking forward to the first public engagement event.