Old East Village Pushing For Community Centre

Those who rallied to save Lorne Ave. Public School are hoping the city will transform the site into a community hub for Old East Village.

The Thames Valley District School Board has agreed to sell the school building and 1.4 hectare site at Lorne Ave. and English St. to the City of London for $550,000.

“I would love to see that school used primarily for park land and have some of the building maintained for community use, either as an additional community centre with more gym space or potentially for the partners we had previously identified for the school, including Growing Chefs and El Sistema,” says Scott McLean of the Save Lorne Ave Public School group. “In Old East it would be something that would be really well utilized by the community and something really beneficial for the kids and the adults.”

TVDSB trustees voted to close the school in June due to declining enrollment.

“This agreement will meet the needs of both the school board and the city and is the best possible solution for everyone,” says TVDSB Chair Ruth Tisdale. “As trustees we know how difficult it is to see a school that is the centre f a community close down, but we believe the offer from the City of London is good for the community. The city can now decide what is the best use for the property.”

The city has said it will work with the community members involved to decide what is best for the site. It is expected it will be transformed into a park, but changes must be made to the official plan.