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Newmarket's King George school to be preserved during redevelopment
Feb. 27, 2017
Teresa Latchford

Developers plan to leave the King George school building intact as the property is developed.

Bounded by Park Avenue to the north, Victoria Street to the west, Church Street to the east and Botsford Street to the south, the proposal for the 1.3-acre property that currently houses the historical school built in 1912 includes 11 condominium units within the school building and 14 townhomes, eight fronting onto Church and six fronting onto Botsford.

“It is a modest design but very urban and we are trying to respect the homeowners around the property,” said Brad Rogers of Groundswell Urban Planners.

The historical school will receive needed care on the exterior as well as a few features to spruce up the entrances and a small urban green space will be created for area residents to use.

The proposed townhouses mirror some of the design elements of the houses on the streets they face.

Tom and Ann Campbell have lived on Church Street for more than four decades in a historic home built in 1881 and are concerned about the homes that are to be built one metre from their property line.

“I want to make it clear, we are not against the King George development but must protect our heritage home, not only for ourselves but for the community at large and for future generations,” Ann said.

She wonders if her primitive rubblestone foundation will be able to withstand the vibrations from heavy equipment used in construction so close to their home. She also worries that the height of the buildings will block sunlight.

“We were led to believe that the townhouses along Church Street would conform to the style and size that suits the streetscape,” she added. “As one can see from the plans, it really overwhelms, the height of the townhomes next to us being taller than this historically significant home.”

Rogers is aware of the concerns regarding the Campbell’s home and said there is work being done on a design level to help alleviate the concerns of the residents.

A public open house has been held and the town is in the process of reviewing the application.