Last fall, Brock University and the City of Burlington signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of working together to find a new home for the academic programming currently offered at the Hamilton Campus.
As that process moves forward, on Wednesday, June 23, the Halton District School Board (HDSB) announced that it has declared Robert Bateman High School on New Street in Burlington surplus to its needs.
As part of a provincially regulated process, the HDSB may offer to sell or lease the property to a list of public sector bodies. As one of the eligible bodies, the City of Burlington is taking the important next step of formally submitting an expression of interest to purchase the Robert Bateman site.
The high school site aligns with Burlington’s goal to attract post-secondary education to the city, and as such, its expression of interest will include the exploration of a partnership with Brock University to offer post-secondary programming on the site.
“Brock University has long been committed to supporting the success of our students and the growth and vitality of communities across the Niagara region and surrounding areas,” said Brock President Gervan Fearon. “That’s why we’re excited to be working with our partners at the City of Burlington on the next step of this collaboration, with the goal of better serving our students and the wider community.”
Brock Provost and Vice-President, Academic Lynn Wells said the University “has experienced tremendous enrolment growth from students living in the Burlington area.”
“The City of Burlington has been a terrific partner for Brock University,” Wells said. “We look forward to working with the City on the next phase of our partnership and working to improve access for area students.”
In addition to exploring a relationship with Brock, Burlington also plans to partner with other institutions, ensuring there is an adaptive reuse strategy for the site. This includes the Burlington Library relocating its Appleby Line branch to this location to develop a hub for learning and education.
“Our community has made it clear just how important it is to retain the Robert Bateman High School site as a community hub, and a place of learning,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “That’s been a personal commitment of mine, and of this council. Our council has also had a long-standing goal of attracting post-secondary education to Burlington. Both commitments will now be realized with the relocation of Brock University’s Faculty of Education to the site, along with other partners like our library moving in. The site will remain a cherished part of our community and bring additional jobs and investment to Burlington.”
Anita Cassidy, Executive Director of Burlington Economic Development, said a partnership between the city and Brock has been in the works for a number of years.
“This strategically located site being made available presents a unique economic development opportunity and aligns with our strategic objectives of attracting a post-secondary institution to Burlington,” she said. “We see this as a big opportunity for the city and look forward to continuing our work with Brock University and the City of Burlington to attract a new post-secondary institution to Burlington.”