Board seeks partners for Barrie’s Central

The future of Barrie Central Collegiate is back on the table next month as the school board hosts a meeting on possible partnership proposals to rebuild or redevelop the school.
The meeting scheduled for Nov. 15 is the latest development in a series of steps taken to save the school from being torn down; last spring it won a reprieve of sorts when the Simcoe County District School Board set a window of five years, to 2016, for partnership proposals to be developed.
“At the conclusion of the Barrie secondary schools accommodation review process in the spring, trustees directed staff to pursue viable financial partnerships as part of our process to develop a business case and apply to the Ministry of Education to secure funding to build a new secondary school on the current Barrie Central site,” said Paul Sloan, the board’s superintendent of education.
A couple of likely candidates for partnerships are Georgian College, which has expressed an interest in moving its design and visual arts campus downtown, and the City of Barrie, which has a strategic growth interest in keeping the school open.
Creating a healthy and vibrant city centre is part of the City’s 2010-2014 strategic plan, and that includes maintaining a post-secondary presence in downtown Barrie.

“We’ve been reviewing proposed partnership ideas and we also met with City of Barrie staff to review options for proceeding with a formal process to solicit partnerships relating to Barrie Central. Now it’s time to begin that formal process,” said Sloan.

Those attending the meeting will be provided with details on the board’s partnership policy, information on the board of trustees’ directions on potential partnerships, a definition of what a viable partnership might entail, and other details such as demographics, the Ministry of Education’s capital funding model, and timelines.
Following the meeting those with detailed proposals can submit them for review.

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