The local public school board has entered into a binding agreement with an undisclosed buyer for the former SCITS property on Wellington Street.
The Lambton Kent District School Board received multiple offers for the 100-year-old school building and 9.2 acres it occupies, superintendent Brian McKay confirmed.
The board is legally bound not to identify the purchaser for 90 days while the purchaser completes an environmental assessment, he said.
Until that’s done in mid-June the buyer will remain confidential, said McKay. “Otherwise I can give you no other details.”
Vision Nursing & Rest Home, located across the street from the vacant school, made an offer but it wasn’t accepted, said Vision CEO Heather Martin.
“We are anxious to know who the successful purchaser is,” she said.
Since the school was closed two years ago, Martin has said repeatedly it’s important to the nursing home and surrounding neighbourhood that it be redeveloped and not sit vacant and unused.
Vision –a non-profit organization – made an offer to the school board with a business plan for the property that involved a life-lease project.
The fact Vision wasn’t the winning bidder isn’t concerning as long as the purchaser does “something that’s good for the property,” Martin said.
“If it is, we’ll be their biggest cheerleader. I hope their heart is in doing something the right way.”
The City of Sarnia and the County of Lambton discussed the possibility of developing the historic school building for multiple uses but did not submit an offer, said Sarnia CAO Chris Carter.
“The city is now removed from the process, but perhaps there is still opportunity for us to assist in making the property a community hub,” Carter said.
“It’s prime real estate with so much potential,” he added. “We don’t want a dilapidated building there.”