Queen’s acquires former Prison for Women site
Queen’s University and Canada Lands Company (CLC) today announced that the university will acquire the former site of the Federal Prison for Women in Kingston effective January 2008.
“We’re very pleased with this agreement that enables Queen’s to acquire this property,” says Principal Karen Hitchcock. “We’re committed to respecting the heritage designation associated with this site and to being guided by good planning considerations. This will greatly enhance the university’s ability to address space pressures on a campus that was designed for a much smaller complement of students and faculty and allow us to move in new directions in the context of our strategic plan.”
The 8.1-acre (3.3-hectare) property was the site of the federal prison for female offenders from 1934 until it was closed in 2000. Since 2003, CLC has been reviewing its options for potential future uses for the property. After extensive studies, consultations with stakeholders, including the City of Kingston, it was determined that respecting the existing institutional land use designation would represent the most beneficial use for the site.
“Taking into consideration that the former prison’s administrative building and cell block are heritage structures and must be retained, and that Queen’s requires institutional lands for its continued growth, CLC believes that the decision to sell the property to the university will meet the school’s pressing need for additional space while also recognizing its significant role in the Kingston economy,” said Norm Jarus, General Manager, Real Estate, Ontario, for CLC.
Prior to relinquishing control of the site, CLC will ensure that the property’s secured bunker and all other non-heritage buildings will be demolished and that three of the four stone security walls will be removed. The fourth wall, which is located on the western edge of the site and serves as a buffer from the Portsmouth community, will remain. This demolition process will commence shortly and is expected to take approximately three months. As well, Queen’s has committed itself to respect the heritage designations that have been placed on the remaining buildings
CLC is an arm’s length, self-financing Crown corporation, which optimizes the financial and community value from strategic properties no longer required for program purposes by the Government of Canada. It purchases properties at fair market value, then holds and manages, or improves and sells them, to produce the best possible benefit for both local communities and the company’s sole shareholder, the Government of Canada.
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