by Sylene Argent
Late last week, the Town of Essex issued a Request for Letters of Interest, hoping to see what organizations, businesses, or groups would be interested in potentially partnering with the Town as leasers or space users if the Town of Essex purchased the former Harrow High School facility.
Essex CAO Tracey Pillon-Abbs said the Town of Essex is trying to get the word out and test the market place to see who would be potentially interested in utilizing space at the former high school if the Town were to purchase it.
In December, Essex Council directed Town administration to submit an Expression of Interest to the Greater Essex County District School Board when it made it known the high school would be put up for sale.
Pillon-Abbs said if Essex were to move on this opportunity, staff wants to have a plan. In doing so, they want to report to Council before any decisions on purchasing the property are made as to potential lease agreements or facility usage.
The Town is not asking for potentially interested groups to sign an agreement, just make their interest known in writing.
Potential space leasers or user groups have until April 7 to contact the Town to start the discussion.
“We’re not asking for a commitment, yet,” she said.
More information is available on the Town website essex.ca.
The Town has until the end of May to determine if it will put in an offer. It is still waiting to hear what the School Board is identifying as the “fair market value” of the facility.
The interest from the community will assist Council in determining whether or not to move forward in purchasing this facility.
Pillon-Abbs said the Town has been informed that it was the only entity that expressed interest in the facility.
Members of Essex’s Senior Administration and Town Council were slated to tour the high school on Monday evening to get an idea of the facility’s condition and see what it could offer the municipality.
The tour was cancelled due to weather, but will be rescheduled in the near future.