Council will get a detailed briefing on the next steps for the Bateman property on June 1st. Some very good news despite the cost

By Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2023



On the first day of June a Standing Committee will go over how the city is going to engage the public on the evolution of the former Bateman High School.

The material from the staff report is detailed and complex.  However, there are a couple of gems.

Parts of the report spits out all the bromides that are supposed to settle the tummies of a very concerned public that shudders at the amount of money that has been spent to date on a project the citizens, so far, have had little in the way of input on.

The size and scope of the community centre (It needs a name of its own very soon) will be the biggest the city has. While it is in the eastern part of the city it could well turn into a magnet for a number of groups that are looking for a home. .

The site as it stood when the city purchased the property.


A rendering what of the former high school will look like.

The Standing Committee agenda:

Receive and file recreation, community and culture department report plus the Former Robert Bateman High School – Communication and Engagement update; and

Direct the Director of Corporate Communications and Engagement and the Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to execute the communications and engagement tactics or recreation, community and culture department report.

Council will hear from the Communications people and the Recreation, Community and Culture – you knew them as Parks and Recreation – that is now led by Emilie Cote who is doing a superb job so far.

The development aligns with the city’s Vision to Focus position – that’s the portion of the Strategic Plan Council is working on during this term of office.

Those who pay attention to these issues know that the City of Burlington purchased the former Robert Bateman High School building and site and that it is being repurposed with sustainability and community-building in mind.

The reuse and conversion of the former secondary school will have extensive interior renovations including renewal of all major building systems and exterior site and building modifications required to support the intended community uses.

When the renovation is complete, tenants including Brock University, Burlington Public Library, Halton District School Board, Tech Place and City of Burlington will move into the building and begin offering services.

There is currently parking, a small woodlot associated with the adjacent Appleby Creek Valley and a track with a football field (inside the track) located on the site. The building and property will remain in public ownership.

In addition to the existing pool and gymnasiums and the new enhanced common areas of the building there will be approximately 21,000 square feet of new dedicated community recreation space and approximately 9,000 square feet of temporary recreation space that do not have defined uses at this time and that would form part of Phase 2 of the project.

In this report, staff are bringing forward for council’s awareness a draft communication and engagement plan addressing tactics.

On April 18, 2023, council approved the tender award for the Renovation and Conversion of the Former Robert Bateman High School (EICS-23-09). The high-level project timelines are as follows:

Maps of spaces, with exact dimensions are set out below.

Ground floor: Phase 1



Total Financial Impact
Communication and engagement tactics that will be rolled out for phase 1 and 2 of this project will require funding. Staff estimate the cost to be approximately $100,000 and it will be funded from prior approved capital.

Other Resource Impacts
This project is a large undertaking for City staff, as is the engagement and communication efforts. Various staff members will be engaged and required to carry out the various efforts including but not limited to staff from:

• Recreation, Community and Culture
• Communications and Engagement
• Customer Experience
• Engineering
• Parks Design and Construction
• Transportation
• Transit

Climate Implications
The project aligns with the Council approved Climate Action Plan.

Recreation, Community and Culture Director Emilie Cote

Engagement Matters:
Staff have come up with a very interesting approach that is set out in a separate report.

In that seperate article various groups including, but not limited to community user groups, community members, partners, Council advisory groups, council, City staff will have an opportunity be engaged along the way.

The report that will be before the Standing Committee is exhaustive and requires a close reading.

What Council will learn is that Recreation, Community and Culture Director Emilie Cote and Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director of Corporate Communications and Engagement plan to do as the evolution of the former Bateman High School plays out.


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to Council will get a detailed briefing on the next steps for the Bateman property on June 1st. Some very good news despite the cost

  • Jim Thomson

    I read the draft.
    I don’t see milestones and decision points
    The only date for public engagement is the Food for Feedback Sept,16 2023.
    the level of engagement for the Food for Feedback is Inform, they aren’t actually looking for feedback.
    They keep highlighting the need for more parking. I guess that’s the communication tactic.
    They also don’t appear to be considering keeping the track and soccer pitch as they are looking at redesign of the greenspace.
    In particular they state that there will be a walking path through the green space.
    I guess they already decided what they want.
    Fake engagement.