Redesign, adaptive re-use and costing plan proposed for former Robert Bateman High School building

A comprehensive staff report for the redesign of the adaptive reuse of the recently acquired Robert Bateman High School (RBHS) incorporating the results of a recent cost estimate, prepared by a third-party cost surveyor, along with a multi-year capital financing plan will be presented to the City’s Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services (EICS) committee on Dec. 8.

The City is repurposing the existing Robert Bateman High School into a multi-purpose community hub that will contribute significantly to the City’s major community facilities to accommodate future growth and will also help meet our objective of being net-zero carbon by 2040. The reuse and conversion of the former secondary school will be completed via interior renovations, enhancements and minor site plan modifications as part of Phase 1.

The total gross estimated cost of construction for phase 1 is $72.75 million, with a breakdown of costs below.

Base Building

Phase 1 Base Building Construction


Design and Engineering/Other Soft Costs


Total Base Building Construction Cost


Recommended Energy Reduction Incentives


Total Recommended Base Building


Optional Enhanced Energy Incentives (subject to confirmation of Senior Government funding application)


Total Gross Construction Estimated Cost


Along with the construction costs, staff will also present a financing plan. The financing plan proposes approximately $46 million in tax supported debt financing, with the remainder coming from non-tax supported sources which includes contributions from tenants who will be paying rent annually, and possible funding to be confirmed from the federal government.

Proposed Net Capital Financing

Tenant Direct Capital Contributions (Cash).


Non-Tax Supported Debt Financing

Tenant recovery


Special Circumstance Debt (SCD) Financing


Tax Supported Debt Financing


Senior Government Funding (subject to confirmation by Senior Government)


Total Proposed Capital Financing


The existing building is a two-storey, 212,000 square foot, brick-clad structure that was built in 1969, with additions completed in 1973 and 2003. The building contains community space and the Burlington Centennial Pool, which was recently renovated and will remain accessible to the community throughout the renovation.

This is a multi-phase major community investment, which will see infrastructure upgrades to build up to modern building code standards and implement net-zero carbon technologies, as well as providing space that will support future tenants on both the first and second floors. The project also will include a second phase which is the development of approximately 40,000 square feet of new City community centre space as well as new future space for community partners. The estimated cost of Phase 2 is $15 million to $20 million with the facility design to be brought back to Council following completion of public engagement.

Design features for Phase 1 include:

  • Brock University educational classrooms and administration spaces.
  • New expanded Burlington Library branch and programs
  • New front entrance, open collaborative corridors and seating connecting the front to the rear of the facility.
  • New central staircase and elevator
  • Meeting room spaces
  • Refreshed City operated triple gymnasium
  • TechPlace Office spaces
  • Halton District School Board adult program classrooms and administration spaces

Public engagement will take place in early 2023 to seek community feedback.

Quick Facts

  • In June 2021, HDSB trustees approved a plan to declare the former Robert Bateman High School facility surplus to its needs and retain an interest in a portion of the facility to relocate the Burlington Gary Allan Learning Centre.
  • 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.
  • In Dec. 2021, Council provided direction to staff to submit a formal offer to purchase the Robert Bateman High School site.
  • In Feb. 2022, the HDSB accepted the City’s 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.
  • On Oct. 28, 2022 the City formally took ownership of the Robert Bateman property.
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