A familiar Burlington name will likely be attached to city’s latest community centre

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Published November 20, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Bateman school Burlington neighbourhood residents greenspace
An aerial view of the Robert Bateman Community Centre reconversion site. The track pictured at the top will be removed.

Burlington residents are showing they are a loyal bunch.

The community has decided that when old Robert Bateman High School is made over into a multi-purpose community hub it should be called Robert Bateman Community Centre.

That’s what the results say after surveying residents about the name of the community centre that will emerge on New St.

A committee formed to carry out the name search found that Robert Bateman was still the most popular choice by those who responded.

In total 221 names were received by the committee and of those 44 per cent selected Robert Bateman Community Centre or a close variation.

Pinedale was the second-place name with 3 per cent of the submissions.

The review committee included representatives from the City’s Advisory Committees of Heritage and Inclusion, City Council, the Indigenous Talking Circle, and City staff.

Initially, the plan was to create a shortlist but the strong response to retaining the Bateman name changed that.

“The consensus of the committee was that the community has already overwhelmingly chosen the name Robert Bateman Community Centre and it would be disingenuous to poll the community again or put a short list to a vote,” reads a statement released by the committee.

The name recognition will now be submitted to a City committee for approval and if it clears that step will go before City council for final approval.

Bateman, now 93 and living in British Columbia, is a nationally known artist and naturalist. The school was named after him at the height of his fame and followed his stint as a teacher at the school in the 1970s. The school closed in 2020 and was obtained by the City last year.

Originally named Lord Elgin High School, it was renamed Bateman after amalgamating with General Brock High School in 2004.

The building closed as a school in 2020 and was subsequently purchased by the City of Burlington and is currently undergoing renovations. When it opens fully, likely in 2025, it will be home to Brock University and other permanent agencies as well as serving as an all-purpose community centre.

 

 

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