It was a nice surprise to the municipality when the derelict Ste-Marie school in Field sold for substantially more than expected. In a tax sale ending on June 24, the minimum tender amount was set at $116,409, but the winning bid was more than double. A numbered company successfully bid $309,700, and is now the proud owner of a large property in Field, although no-one is able to confirm just who is behind the company.
Chris Fisher, the councillor for Field, launched an effort this past year to get resolution on the property, citing the danger to local children who were entering the crumbling structure. The town was fully expecting to have to go through the process of a tax sale, and possibly ending up with the property and the expense of demolition. Fisher said, “I don’t know much. It was a surprise, yes. I still don’t have a lot of information and it’s not for me to get the information. [Municipal] staff is going to approach whoever bought it and find out their intentions.”
Fisher said that he hopes the building is knocked down in a reasonable amount of time and the land will have a useful new life. “They bid so much over the asking, and we didn’t expect to even get a bid at asking price. I’m hoping they might have a vision for that site. It’s a beautiful piece of property, overlooks the river, and a lot of space to do development.” He did note that whatever the intentions, “There’s a portion of it, no matter what, that has to be knocked down. Even a layman can tell it’s beyond rehabilitation.”
The old school was closed down many years ago and subsequently bought by an individual, then abandoned and left to decay.