The old Campbellton school is sold.
After three years on the market, and two offers that fell through, the building and surrounding property now has a new owner.
“It’s been many, many years in the making,” Peter Neale, School District 72 secretary-treasurer, said. “We had two possible sales that almost came to fruition but didn’t, but I guess the third time’s a charm.”
The school, which has sat abandoned since it closed in 2005 and is scrawled with graffiti, was officially sold to a E&D Properties Ltd. for $675,000 last week when the board of education approved the sale at its Tuesday night meeting.
Neale said the money will help pay off a debt.
“Proceeds from the sale will go towards paying off a loan that was taken out to help finance the construction of Ripple Rock Elementary,” he said.
Ripple Rock opened to students seven years ago as a replacement to the aging Evergreen and Campbellton schools. The move was meant to be a cost savings for the school district; instead of operating two older, more expensive buildings it would operate one newer facility serving both area schools.
The former Campbellton Elementary School, which sits empty on the corner of the Island Highway and Highway 28 (Gold River Highway) opened in 1953 and at the time it closed, accommodated 175 students.
The school district’s decision to sell the school couldn’t have happened at a better time.
“The agreement to sell the school was one of the last authorized by the provincial government for school districts to sell school land prior to the moratorium about three years ago,” said Neale.
The moratorium, imposed by the province, restricts school boards from selling school properties.
“Our agreement was grandfathered until the time came when we were able to sell it (Campbellton),” said Neale.
Selling Campbellton Elementary has been one of the school district’s top priorities after it made the decision to close the school in part due to declining enrolment in the Campbellton area.
The school district’s surplus properties, in addition to the Campbellton site, were also sold off to help finance the cost of Ripple Rock school.