Former Broadview Public School awaits new lease on life

The exterior of the old Broadview Public School.
The former Broadview school has been boarded up since it closed. Provided photo. 

By Annabelle Sadler and Anya Watson

When I was eight years old, I attended class in the former historic Broadview Public School. That was 10 years ago, but I still remember the feeling of heat that wafted through the music hall, even if the rest of the school had a chill in the air.

The original Broadview school was built in 1916 and rebuilt in 1927 following a fire. Over the years, the building accumulated several additions to accommodate a growing population. 

Concerns over asbestos, flooding, and the general condition of the building gradually became an issue. Consequently, a new school was built in 2016 for Broadview students next to the original building. 

In 2017, the older building’s additions were torn down and only the original shell of the school, which is designated as a heritage building, remains untouched to this day. 

Currently, there are no plans for its future on Broadview Avenue. Westboro residents have a variety of ideas regarding what should be done with the building. Many community members feel that the building should be used as it was originally intended. 

“I would like the school board to use it as a school. I see it as the only real purpose,” said Sara Ryan, a community activist in favor of repurposing the original building.

Some Nepean students feel it might be best-used as a storage facility for Nepean High School equipment or as classrooms to replace the newer school’s portables.

A facilities manager with the school board confirms that the OCDSB has “looked at options for the use of the building, including repurposing it for classrooms and selling to a third party.”

In most cases, a third party would be land developers who eye space to be turned into large residential towers. But the cost to retain the heritage building and lack of parking have served as  deterrents, said board officials. 

The OCDSB said the building is unable to be used as a school again at this time due to a lack of funding. 

While the building does represent the great architectural diversity of the neighbourhood, the community remains split on whether they would like to see it remain saved. 

Annabelle Sadler and Anya Watson are students at Nepean High School.

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