Town weighing whether to buy mothballed Fort High

Plans may be in the works for the old Fort Frances High School on First Street East, which has stood vacant for more than two years, after a report to council at Monday night’s committee of the whole meeting.
“We’re in the process of the potential acquisition of the high school,” CAO Bill Naturkach said Tuesday.
“We’re still crunching numbers given the magnitude of the site and the complexity of the maintenance,” he added. “It’s the third-largest building in town, and we have to look over many aspects of it, like the structural integrity and engineering components.”
Naturkach noted the town will meet with the Rainy River District School Board sometime next month to further discuss purchasing the building.
As to what the structure could be used for, Naturkach wouldn’t reveal at this point. But it has been reported the “Re-Inventing Fort Frances” committee has included the property in its designs for parking space, a park, an amphitheatre, and possibly office space.
“All I can tell you is there’s some private-sector interest in part of the building. Whether or not there’s any revenue-bearing possibilities for it is something we’ll discuss,” Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said Monday.
“But I do know something’s got to happen in 2002,” he added. “It’s a matter of finding a use for it, or using the wrecking ball.”
Economic development officer Geoff Gillon, with the Rainy River Future Development Corp., gave a presentation on the topic to council Monday evening but since that session was held in-camera, no details are available.