Following approval of the deal by Council earlier this month, the sale closed this week and the former school will soon see new life under BGC Yarmouth
Friday, April 30th, 2021 - Yarmouth, N.S. – The Town of Yarmouth and BGC Yarmouth (formerly Boys and Girls Club) have finalized the sale of the former South Centennial School located at 20 Forbes Street. With the closing of the sale, the building receives a new lease on life serving area youth for years to come.
Town of Yarmouth staff had been working on finding a new owner for the school and most recently brought together a number of local community organizations for a workshop to brainstorm potential uses, including a “community hub” to serve a variety of needs. Having BGC Yarmouth occupy the space is an ideal fit for the property.
Jodie Pothier is the Executive Director of BGC Yarmouth. Pothier gave an impassioned presentation at Town Council’s April 8th meeting, outlining the organization’s new brand and their plans to repurpose the school.
“As the Executive Director of BGC Yarmouth and having the goal to expand programming, I saw no better opportunity than the purchase of South Centennial School,” said Pothier. “We have been established in the South End Community for 54 years and adding another building in the South End just made sense. We are happy and excited about what the future holds for BGC Yarmouth and have been so thankful for the amazing community support.”
Familiarity with the location played a key role in helping BGC decide on the school as their new home. After the building was turned over to the town by the province in 2016 it remained mainly vacant, but was used by BGC after a flood forced them out of their Bond Street location.
“Ever since we relocated to the school after our flood, I knew it’s potential and since then I have dreamt of the opportunities this space could provide,” said Pothier. “We have immediate renovations to complete to get the building in satisfactory working order which include upgrades to the bathroom, replacement of outside doors, replacing damaged or leaking windows and upgrading the old kitchen space to include a brand-new commercial kitchen. The school needs a little TLC but give us time and it will become great. Our Summer Day Camp will open end of June and additional programming will begin in September.”
Speaking on behalf of council, Mayor Pam Mood expressed excitement and gratitude toward BGC for having the vision needed to make use of the former school.
“We are thrilled with the takeover of the building by BGC and look forward to seeing them run such important programming for our youth from that location,” said Mood. “When schools are closed, municipalities like ours are handed the keys and it brings considerable expense to keep them maintained. Sometimes these buildings end up meeting a wrecking ball. In recent months, we’ve been able to repurpose the former high school for essential housing and now South Centennial to serve our youth. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”
While the school will be used to serve school aged children and up the Bond Street location of BGC Yarmouth will remain as a daycare center.
To download the BGC Yarmouth presentation outlining their new branding and plans for the school, visit: https://pub-townofyarmouth.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=661