Public board selling former school to pay down deficit

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Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

Lambton Kent District School Board will be selling a learning center in Chatham to help cover its deficit.

The public board is facing a $1,781,000 deficit. Associate Director Brian McKay told trustees March 26 selling the John N. Given Learning Centre allows the school board to deal with its deficit pressures without impacting students.

The public school closed in 2018. The building was used for adult and continuing education and alternative education programs. It costs $300,000 annually to operate which will be eliminated.
Money from the sale of the building will used for the building of a new school or a major addition. How Lambton Kent spends this money will need to be approved by the ministry of education.

There is a possibility this could be used for the new Kindergarten to Grade 12 Lambton Shores Community School, said McKay.

The first requirement is to declare the property as surplus, which the trustees gave their approval.
The property includes the building and seven-acre school yard to be sold together.

The ministry of education has first dibs on the land possibly for other school boards or the ministry. McKay hoped the property could be sold to the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

If that doesn’t happen, it will go up for public sale.

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