Resident feedback wanted on Robert Bateman High School proposals

By Staff

May 18th, 2022



The City of Burlington is looking for residents’ feedback on a proposed land transaction with the Halton District School Board (HDSB) and leasing arrangements with the HDSB and Brock University for the City’s planned acquisition of the Robert Bateman High School building and property.

The proposed transaction with the HDSB would see the City transfer ownership of approximately five acres of City owned-land (sports field at Central High School) to the HDSB as a component of a land exchange for the Robert Bateman site.

The sports field beside Central High school is owned by the city. Selling it to the school board frees up some cash that can be applied to the purchase of the Bateman location. It is a complex deal with a number of players that may not have had the benefit of some some take our time second thought. Some are wondering – why the rush? One pressure point is that Brock wants to be in the space they are renting – when? Tight timeline.

The City owned-land in question is located near Burlington Central High School and includes the high school football field and running track.

The HDSB has wanted to own the sports field beside Burlington Central High School for some time; that desire is consistent with the HDSB’s long-term intention to continue operating Burlington Central High School as a school. This land exchange component will advance the City’s efforts to secure the Robert Bateman site in continued public ownership, ensuring that the Robert Bateman site is available for continued educational and community-oriented uses.

Feedback will also be sought on proposed leasing agreements with the HDSB that wants to use some of the space and Brock University that wants to locate one of its departments in Burlington.

Both leases are expected to be long-term but not to exceed 25 years.

Burlington City Council directed staff to gather feedback from the public on these proposals. Public feedback can be provided at the City’s online engagement portal, Get Involved Burlington.  The time frame for getting sufficient public feedback is short.

The site is a big one; the plans to re-purpose the location from a local high school to a multi-use site that would pull together local residents, a unit of Brock University, a public library and a number of gymnasiums with lots of space left over.

A considerable amount of controversy is expected from the downtown community where there isn’t all that much open space to begin with. The 100th anniversary event was planned to take place on the sports field in June of 2023.  Will that space still be available to the public once it is in school board hands?

Any thought of a community centre with a pool in that part of town would be lost.  With three towers planned for Ghent and Brant, a short walk from the sports field, residents wonder if they are going to be locked out of creating more in the way of public amenities.

Click for the Link to Get Involve

This engagement opportunity will be open to Burlington residents until June 13, 2022.

Following public input, staff will report back to Burlington Council with a final report and recommendations at the June 21, 2022 Council meeting.

Some background:

In June 2021, HDSB announced that it has declared Robert Bateman High School surplus to its needs.

In December 2021, Council provided direction to staff to submit a formal offer to purchase the Robert Bateman High School site

On Feb. 3, 2022, Burlington City Council endorsed next steps to advance the potential acquisition of the Robert Bateman High School site from the HDSB.

Shortly after, also in June 2021, the City of Burlington announced that an expression of interest would be submitted to the HDSB to purchase the Robert Bateman site through a partnership with Brock University.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 comments to Resident feedback wanted on Robert Bateman High School proposals

  • perryb

    yes, a nice question might be “do you agree that the school board and the city should continue to operate as independent, competing agencies when it comes to land use planning and growth targets?”

    In fact, at the Provincial level, why do we have individual agencies/ministries with uncoordinated and often conflicting ownership of schools, railroads, hydro, hospital, residential, etc, etc? How can you plan and grow a community with so many interests pulling in opposite directions?

  • Bonnie

    As I stand looking out my kitchen window at the Bateman track and soccer field, I realize this above plan will be trading one sports field for another.

    Sadly, I also believe the parking area at Bateman will need to be enlarged and as I walk through the current parking lot, I think the only way to expand the current parking, is to use a portion of the track and soccer field. If this is the case, Central H.S. gains a sports field while Bateman loses a portion of theirs.

    Yes, we as residents certainly want to maintain the current Bateman property as a community asset, but it should be for the enjoyment of the residents of east Burlington. By leasing space to the HDSB, Brock University, Tech Place etc. I feel little will be left for the community to enjoy. A costly purchase with little benefit to the residents.

  • Penny Hersh

    The survey is a total Joke. Once again a City survey skewed to answer irrelevant questions to gaslight the residents into approving a “White Elephant” project that will end up costing the taxpayers.

    Here are the questions. You will not there is no mention of cost of project.

    Please tell us your postal code*


    Do you agree with the proposed land exchange where the City will transfer the Central high school football field to the HDSB and the HDSB will transfer Bateman High School to the City?”

    Strongly agree




    Strongly Disagree

    Do you agree with the City of Burlington’s intention to sign a lease agreement with Brock University for educational purposes?

    Strongly agree




    Strongly disagree

    Do you agree with the City of Burlington’s intention to sign a lease agreement with the Halton District School Board for educational purposes?

    Strongly Agree




    Strongly disagree
    Do you have any other comments you would like to share about the land transaction of and potential lease agreements with Brock University and the Halton District School Board?