What to do with the former Bridgetown school




SaltWire Network



There is a conversation going on in the community of Bridgetown these days. It has to do with the now-abandoned elementary school. It is one of those post-war buildings on a very large lot in a residential area. When the new school opened in 2017, it incorporated both the elementary and high school grades. The elementary school was 'given' to the Municipality of the County of Annapolis. The question now is what to do with it? There are some good suggestions out there – a self-funded community centre with tenants who pay the freight is one idea. The other one is housing. There is a need for affordable housing in these rural parts. And then there are those who say tear the building down, divide the property into lots and sell them. However – there is always one of these howevers or buts – there is the matter of the building itself. I have seen a couple of differing remarks about whether there’s asbestos or if the plumbing and electrical systems are good enough. There’s a possibility of mould too. I must say there was one of the more civilized conversations on Facebook about all this a week or so ago. All made good points, and although not everyone agreed, there was a good discussion. There are people who would like to sell their big old property and move into something smaller and newer where they don’t have to fix things that go wrong in a building. There are a few of these developments that I know of in my area. There are a number of units near the fire hall in Bridgetown. There are a few behind the Annapolis County building in Annapolis Royal. As far as I know, they are all occupied. There is a brand new one being built in Annapolis Royal behind the Legal Aid office and Home Hardware. Royal Estates Homes is building 24 units. Rob Lawrie, one of the owners, says, “We’ve got a waiting list with enough names to potentially fill at least half of the proposed units.” While I realize this unit size may not be for everyone, they might very well ease the way for a cascade of sales and moves in the area. I also realize housing for lowincome families is a whole different matter. I know the Annapolis County council has expressed concern to the provincial officials. It will be interesting to hear what the province has said about rural homelessness. STORM I would like to thank all the municipal employees here for looking after the roads last weekend. Those guys from Nova Scotia Power who were out in that ferocious storm are heroes as well. And we all kept in touch to make sure we were alright too. Thanks to the neighbourhoods. Three places were open on Saturday afternoon as comfort stations – Felker Hall at Cornwallis Park, Annapolis Royal Fire Station and Port Lorne Fire Hall. There has been a proposal before the Annapolis County council to look into providing more comfort stations for just this kind of event. It might be time to dust it off. Anne Crossman is a former journalist and media manager. She now does volunteer work in her community of Centrelea, Annapolis County.