St.Mary's school set to come down just before it turns 100
It's the end of an era for yet another historic Saskatoon landmark.
St. Mary's school is being torn down in favour of a new facility. It's part of a larger plan to revitalize the Pleasant Hill neighbourhood.
Few would deny the need for a new school, but many would argue strongly for the keeping the old one for heritage purposes.
"This is the first Catholic School in the city, and one of the first in Saskatchewan," said former Student Maria Fortungo.
The old school would have turned 100-years-old next year.
Fortungo said if that doesn't define heritage, she's not sure what does.
The decision to demolish the building was made several years ago but Fortungo is just learning out about it now. She called it another example of the city not doing enough to preserve its heritage.
"There's heartbreak, there's disappointment, there's a sense of lack of trust of the decision making. This is not the only example, but for me it's a key one because of the personal connection," said Fortungo.
Fortungo is among those who feel the old school should have been re-purposed. Some have suggested turning it into a community centre or an affordable office space.
Allan Wallace with the City of Saskatoon says neither option turned out to be economically viable.
"If there was a way to save it and a way to re-use I think that would have been done. But not every building is savable, and not every old building will be saved going forward," said Wallace.
Wallace says planners were unable to find an economic re-use for the building.
"And without an economic re-use, it's really hard to save the building. It was also in a fair amount of disrepair, and would require a fair amount of investment to bring it up to standard," added Wallace.
Demolishing the building will make way for some new green space to be used by the new school. Students will be in their new facility this fall.
Follow on Twitter: @ChrisCarr15