A shuttered public school in Moser River is being demolished, and the local representative on Halifax regional council says it’s too bad the place stood unoccupied and damaged for years.
Coun. David Hendsbee said recently Eastern Consolidated Elementary School has started to be torn down, with exterior materials being stripped away.
A Halifax Regional Municipality tender has been awarded for the demolition work at a cost of $344,088, the councillor for Preston-Chezzetcook-Eastern Shore said in a newsletter to constituents.
Tender documents show a consultant for the municipality did site visits last October and November, as part of a hazardous materials assessment.
“It’s unfortunate this building sat vacant for so many years and fell into disrepair,” Hendsbee said in his communique. “Once the site has been razed, perhaps a community housing development project could be considered for the land.”
In an email to CityNews Halifax, Hendsbee said demolition began in July. The school shut down seven years ago; it opened in 1957, when the late John Diefenbaker was prime minister.
Hendsbee said low enrolment prompted its closure. He said when the school was vacant it had a leaky roof, “significant water damage” and was victimized by vandalism.
An area business operator thought the site could be used for commercial purposes. “But (it) was beyond their financial capacity to renovate,” said Hendsbee.
The former Halifax Regional School Board had declared Eastern Consolidated Elementary surplus to its needs and there was “no further educational requirement for this school building,” an old staff report from the now-defunct board says.
Michael Lightstone is a freelance reporter living in Dartmouth