Utilities to be disconnected at the former Ecole St.-Jean Baptiste building


By Ron Giofu

Gas, heating and mechanical components at the former Ecole St.-Jean Baptiste school on Brock St. are being disconnected to try and cut costs.

The Brock St. building, which the town has owned since 2009 after the school moved to its present Fryer St. building, will have the heating and mechanical components decommissioned while the gas utilities will be unhooked. Cost to maintain “minimum heating levels” in 2011 were $19,854, said manager of plant and property Tony DeThomasis, with 2012 costs anticipated to be higher once all billing information for the building has been received.

The boilers and mechanical equipment used in the 32,300 square foot building are “well past their expected useful life cycle as outlined in a 2009 Building Study,” DeThomasis stated in a report to council.

Town Logo Small-webThat study was carried out for the town by Archon Architects.

DeThomasis further stated the building, according to the study, would need a new roof in the next five to ten years with the present roof, last “re-roofed” in 2009, showing water infiltration around the perimeter of the building where flashing is deteriorating. Cost to “re-roof” the building would be “significantly higher” than the $165,000 paid in 2009, DeThomasis added.

The building has been for sale but DeThomasis said in his report the listing agent has indicated there has been “little to no interest” in it.

Re-purposing the building “would require significant investment” with DeThomasis referencing the 2009 study’s estimate of $758,550.

“Considering the capital investment required to occupy this building, any further investment does not make good business sense. The one-time cost associated with decommissioning mechanical equipment is $4,728,” DeThomasis’ report added.

Councillor Bob Pillon asked DeThomasis whether the building was completely boarded up and DeThomasis responded by saying several windows have been broken over the last several years with windows being boarded to try and prevent further damage.

The building, which has also been damaged by graffiti, is locked up with DeThomasis adding that some of the doors have also been chained shut.

“It is fairly secure but we still do have acts of vandalism at that site,” said DeThomasis.

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