Objections to stripping Heritage Center’s historical designation

In this photo from a South Stormont council agenda, the Raisin River Heritage Center in St. Andrews West, Ont. Seven objections have been filed against removing the hertiage designation on the building, clearing the way for its demolition. The matter will head to a tribunal. (South Stormont via Newswatch Group)

LONG SAULT – There’s a temporary roadblock toward South Stormont’s plan to demolish the township-owned Raisin River Heritage Center in St. Andrews West.

Council heard last week that the municipality received seven submissions against removing the heritage designation, clearing the way for it to be torn down.

The matter will go to a Conservation Review Board and the township has already hired a lawyer for the pre-hearing and hearing phase of any proceedings. The pre-hearing could happen within two months.

Whatever the decision of the CRB, it’s not binding on the municipal council and council still has the final say whether to remove the designation.

The 112-year-old Raisin River Heritage Center – a landlocked property with an easement across the St. Andrew’s Catholic School property – has been in a state of disrepair for years and it’s estimated it would cost anywhere from $900,000 to $1.7 million to repair it.

It will cost nearly $700,000 to demolish it and the township believes it could sell the land for $9,000 to $49,000 in an “as is” state. The township says the Catholic District School Board is not interested in buying it.

The Raisin River Heritage Center was originally a Roman Catholic convent and boarding school.