MULGRAVE: The Town of Mulgrave is working to determine the future of the community’s local school building.

At last week’s regular monthly meeting of Mulgrave Town Council, members approved the terms of reference of a working group to assume the ownership and maintenance of the Mulgrave Memorial Education Centre property.

The school is slated to close at the end of the current academic year, and the building will be turned over to the town on July 6.

“There has been a movement in the community and they have formed an ad-hoc committee to study the future use of the school and the direction it’s going in,” said Jim Davis, CAO for the Town of Mulgrave.

The committee will be comprised of the town’s mayor, Ralph Hadley and all town council members, as well as eight community members. One of the group’s short term objectives is to approach the provincial government for financial support to help with initial renovations as the town takes possession of the building.

Davis said he is not yet sure what the total cost of repairs will be.

“We’re looking at having an engineering firm come in and do a study on the costing of the renovations and repurposing the school for any purposes that might arise as we determine our future direction for the use of the school,” said Davis.

Town council plans to meet with the minister of municipal affairs later this month to discuss the school and other matters.

“We’ll be making a presentation with him for insights as to what can be done with the building with any type of support from the province of Nova Scotia,” said Davis. “This would have to be determined through discussions on what programs we could take advantage of.”

Another function of the working group will be to decide how the building will be used in the future.

“We’re in the very early stages. The town may move their offices up there, but that’s yet to be decided,” said Davis.

The working group is also planning to travel to Heatherton to learn about how that community transformed their former school building.

“They turned their old school into a community centre. They will perhaps converse with the members of the committee that’s overlooking that centre and maybe they can give us some advice and guidance as to how to proceed in that area,” said Davis.

In the meantime, Davis says the Strait regional centre for education has been performing maintenance on some areas of concern, including replacing a boiler, fixing a leaky skylight and shingles, and removing school furniture that will not be used by the town.

An environmental assessment has been conducted to test for any potential hazards on the property.

“The assessment was done and they discovered that there might be some petroleum residues left in the soil,” Davis said. “They drilled four test holes and they sent the results away for sample analysis. We haven’t gotten them back yet, but when we do, the school board will call a meeting with the mayor and members of council to discuss the results of the analysis.”