Athabasca County and the Town of Athabasca Councils were presented the Old Brick School Feasibility Study at a Special County Council meeting held on Monday, June 17, 2019.
Presenting the study was Manasc Isaac Architects who have been working to evaluate the building and gather public and stakeholder input to recommend future use options for the former school.
The goal for the revitalization of the Old Brick School was to create a vibrant, public space for the community – turning a vacant, well-loved building into a lively, well-used building.Two scenarios were presented in the report: (1) a private offices option and (2) an Arts and Culture Centre option. Manasc Isaac says both are sensitive to the Character Defining Elements of the building. These were determined by Alberta Culture and are included in the report.
Alberta Culture is working with Manasc Isaac and the Town and County to try and register the Old Brick School as a Registered Historic Resource (a designation that was previously attached to the building). The designation would mean the rehabilitation and preservation of the Old Brick School would be regulated by the Historical Resources Act. This would see the character defining elements of the school retained with the design.
Athabasca County Councillor Travais Johnson made a motion to pursue the public option (Option 2) of the Brick School Feasibility Study. It was carried by members of Athabasca County Council. The Town of Athabasca discussed the study at its June 18th Council Meeting and also carried a motion to choose the same option from the study.
With the public consultation and an evaluation of the building now complete, the presentation of the study brings Phase I of the project to an end. Phase II of the study will see the architect move forward with a schematic design and development for the decided use of the building. Both phases are being paid for with a $200,000 grant provided by Alberta Municipal Affairs.