Decisions still to be made on Kentville school site
By Jennifer Hoegg
Long before Kings County Academy students moved into their new school in September, Kentville residents have been wondering what might happen to the old building.
There has been a school of one kind or another on Academy Hill since 1870, so any different use for the property will be a big change.
"When the board has no further use for the building it would pass a motion to declare the building surplus," Annapolis Valley Regional School Board spokeswoman Kristen Lloyst said.
"In Kings County the town or municipality would be given the first option," she explained, so "they have to offer the school back to Kentville, at which point the town has the option to accept or decline.
"If the town declined to take it," she added, "It would be the board's decision to dispose of the property."
However, students from Aldershot Elementary are currently using part of the former KCA while their school is being renovated.
"A date back to Aldershot school hasn't been decided yet," Lloyst said.
"At this point the board has not made any further plans about the old KCA."
The 11-acre KCA land is composed of two individual lots, one housing a board maintenance facility. Lloyst said the board is expected to keep that piece of property.
Kentville is preparing for the day the school board wants to get rid of the old school, the town's chief administrative officer Mark Phillips said.
"We will have a decision to make, assuming that the board declares the property as surplus," he said.
"If we were to accept it, then of course we would presumably be doing so with a plan in hand," Phillips added. "Whether to retain it, to disband it for development or to renovate it or any other options."
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"Whichever option, it will need a business model attached to it."
Phillips said the town will be internally "investigating in the coming months the allowable uses for that property."
Kentville has no existing policy on how to deal with school properties.
Phillips said if the property were to be renovated for recreational purposes, as proposed by local basketball coach Fred Cumby, "it would be a regional facility."
Any such regional project would have to have an inter-municipal agreement on operating and capital costs, because not all participants would be Kentville residents, he added.
Old KCA property
25 School Street
Assessed at $3,362,200
AVRSB maintenance property
6 Elizabeth Avenue
Assessed at $323,900