Former Riverport school to meet wrecking ball

by Keith Corcoran

A Halifax area firm secured a $120,000 deal with the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) to rip down the former Riverport District Consolidated Elementary School building and clear the Highway 332 site.

Leading Edge Excavation and Trucking has until September 30 to demolish and remove the single-storey building, along with underground utilities, the on-site sewage disposal system, playground equipment, fencing, and other items from the Bayport property.

The job also includes abating hazardous materials from the three hectare site, along with excavating, loading, transporting and disposing of contaminated soil at a provincially approved disposal facility. The construction and demotion debris is bound for the waste site in Whynotts Settlement.

MODL awarded the procurement to the West Chezzetcook company July 13. It was one of three qualified bidders for the work.

"The engineering department at MODL has not worked with Leading Edge Excavation and Trucking in the past, however their bid met all requirements and is competitive," Stephen Pace, MODL's engineering and public works director, said in a written report to council.

"Company representatives were present for an on-site meeting, prior to tender closing, to examine the existing structure and grounds. Leading Edge has also completed a similar demolition project for a school in Sheet Harbour."

MODL's capital budget for the project is just over $1 million. Nearly $800,000 in funding from other government sources was approved for the job, Pace told the council meeting.

Additional costs for the project include fees of a consulting firm ($39,000), tipping fees of the construction and debris waste, and any extra quantity of materials beyond the estimates contained in previous assessment reports.

It's not immediately clear what the future holds for the site once Leading Edge finishes its work. The property has a 2020 market value assessment of $790,000.

A building condition assessment report completed by a Halifax consulting firm for MODL in 2015 called the Riverport school site a "surplus asset" and "highly" recommended against demolition.

In 2013, a Lunenburg-based company expressed interest in establishing a brewery and distillery on the site but the project never materialized.

The Riverport school operated between 1968 and 2011. MODL inherited the building and property after the school closed and was abandoned by the South Shore Regional School Board.

Thank you for printing this article from lighthousenow.ca. Subscribe today for access to all articles, including our archives!