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September 3, 2018

County of Simcoe purchases former Orillia school property for development of future regional services hub


The County of Simcoe has purchased the shuttered Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute (ODCVI) property for development of a future regional services hub.

While details remain scant, the county said the aged buildings on the West Street North property will be demolished immediately.

“Investigation into the viability of utilizing or re-purposing the older infrastructure revealed that this option was not prudent or cost effective,” said a media release from the county.

It’s also unclear if the proposed regional services hub will incorporate a plan floated several months ago by a group of people that started the Hillcrest Lodge.

That group approached city council with their proposal to turn the old school into an apartment complex for vulnerable seniors. Their idea was to incorporate a social services hub within the facility.

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While the city agreed to lend its support to the plan, the county stepped forward first; it is the policy of the Simcoe County District School Board to offer its properties to its regional partners first.

Cam Davidson, one of the primary supporters of the grass-roots movement to acquire ODCVI, could not comment Thursday.

According to the county, public consultation will be sought before anything is done.

Open Houses related to the project and future uses on the site will be held in 2019. Through those forums, the county will be seeking input on the design, amenities and potential community services to be offered at the site.

Construction timelines, building design and services to be offered on the site will be determined through community needs and after public input is received.

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