What does the City of Burlington see as the benefits of the land exchange?

    The proposed transaction with the HDSB would see the City transfer ownership of approximately five acres of City owned-land to the HDSB as a component of a land exchange for the Robert Bateman site. The City owned-land in question is located near Burlington Central High School and includes the high school football field and running track.

    Securing the lands near Burlington Central High School in HDSB ownership has been 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.

    The acquisition of the Robert Bateman High School enable the City to secure, design, renovate and operate a large community centre including the pool, gymnasiums and community rooms in public ownership for City use as well as provide space for education partners- The HDSB and Brock University, the Burlington Public Library, and Tech Place and potential other community use partners.

    What is the dollar value for the potential real estate transactions?

    The City’s real estate matters during negotiations are confidential and therefore information regarding land values, negotiated terms and conditions and other business terms including lease rates cannot be released publicly during this time.  Once the land transactions and the final agreements are in place, the dollar amount will be made public.  

     Regarding Robert Bateman High school and the proposed land exchange with the Central High School football field lands and the associated long term leases proposed for the facility, City staff has communicated  to City Council on these real estate matters several times over past year. Real estate transaction updates  will continue to be communicated in camera as needed. 

    When considering these matters, City Council and the Halton District School Board (HDSB) has and will consider staff advice, independent appraisals, results of due diligence reports and  confidential updates from the HDSB and other partners and provide confirmation of next steps related to the negotiations. 

    Why is the City of Burlington able to potentially purchase the Bateman property?

    As per the Ontario Regulation 444/98 Disposition of Surplus Real Property and Acquisition of Real Property, municipalities have the right to acquire schools sites in advance of them being put out in the open market.

    When will the purchase price and leases become public?

     The purchase price becomes public once the conditions are cleared and the transaction closing date arrives which is currently scheduled for the end of September. 2022.

     The lease will become public once they are finalized, approved and signed. There is more work to do to define the details of the space to be leased and the landlord and tenant obligations related to tenant fit-up and operating costs.

    Why is the City of Burlington negotiating a long term lease with the Halton District School Board?

    A condition of HDSB declaring  the property surplus was that a portion of the building continues to be used for educational purposes. The City and HDSB agreed that the best way to do this was via a long term lease to ensure that the capital renovations and operating costs are recovered over a minimum of 20 years.

    Why is the City of Burlington negotiating a long term lease with Brock University?

    “Develop and implement a strategy to attract post-secondary institutions to Burlington” is an initiative in the City’s strategic plan.   The City of Burlington and Burlington Economic Development has been working with Brock University for years in order to find a spot for them in Burlington since they have sold their existing location in Hamilton. The Robert Bateman High School site is an ideal location for Brock and is compatible with the other uses in the facility.

    Can the HDSB sell the land they purchase from the City to a developer?

    The Board does not have the ability to directly sell any of its lands on the open market, until such a time it follows the legislative process under Ontario Regulation 444/98. If the board were to ever declare the whole or part of its lands surplus, it would need to first offer the lands to the listed public agencies as per the regulation, of which the City is a listed agency. If no interest is expressed, it would then need to seek approval from the Ministry to go to the open market. The HDSB wants to own this land to ensure that Cental high school continues to function as a viable school.

    What is the status of the Gary Allan site?

    Gary Allan Learning Centre programs will be relocated to the Bateman site/building. The New Street Education Centre will continue to operate on the premises

    What is meant by a long term lease?

    It is expected that the long term leases will be equal to or greater than 20 years.

    What is the amount of space and potential uses for community use in the Bateman location?

    It is expected that approx.. 60% of the Bateman facility will be community centre use, including the pool, gyms and other community centre uses and aprox. 40% will be Brock University, HDSB, the Burlington Public Library Appleby Branch and TechPlace.   The exact layout and space requirements is still being determined as part of the design process.

    What is the plan for both parking and traffic at the Bateman site?

    Design, traffic and parking analysis will be done as part of the design process which is underway but yet to be concluded.

    What is the plan for the asbestos at Bateman?

    The City and HDSB are both fully aware of presence of asbestos and this has been factored into the due diligence process by the City and is also addressed in the negotiations between the parties relative to the purchase price.

    How can the City of Burlington afford the purchase and renovations of the site?

    With any land purchase and the associated cost of a new or renovated building supporting future community growth, the City looks to first use development charges and park dedication as a funding source to ensure growth-related capital costs are funded by new growth as permitted under the Development Charges Act and Planning Act.  This minimizes the impact the capital costs would have on the tax base.  In addition, there will be revenue streams from the various tenants that would support both the capital and operating costs.

    The Multi-Year Community Investment Plan, although not a financial plan is a preliminary high level summary of potential community investment opportunities.  Once a significant number of master plans and studies are finalized, the City plans to update the plan and work with council on a prioritization exercise and come back with a financial plan in 2024.