NEWS RELEASE: MH Renaissance Inc. continues work to attract tenants to MH35 project to rejuvenate former Moncton High School

NEWS RELEASE

March 17, 2017
For immediate release

The group of community business leaders behind the MH35 proposal to redevelop the former Moncton High School at the corner of Church Street and Mountain Road in Moncton remains very optimistic and enthusiastic that their project will move forward.

“We continue to receive a number of inquiries from potential tenants for all floors and the arts centre side on a weekly basis,” said Dennis Cochrane, President of MH Renaissance Inc. “While much has been said about moving the Moncton Public Library to MH35, we want to make it abundantly clear that we intend to move forward with or without the library. There is a lot of private-sector interest in the property.”

“We have always said that our preference for the City of Moncton’s contribution to the project would be relocating the library,” Mr. Cochrane said. “We have also consistently indicated that it is not a deal-breaker. We have indicated to members of Moncton City Council that their support for the project would show vision and leadership and was crucial to the redevelopment of the site, and – if they were not prepared to relocate the library – then what were they prepared to contribute to the project so that it could move forward and continue to serve the Greater Moncton community for another 82 years? We have been working with the City of Moncton for more than two years.”

The group working on the MH35 proposal includes Mr. Cochrane, a former Moncton city councillor, mayor, MP and MLA, as well as Jim Lockyer, a former provincial cabinet minister, city councillor and currently a law professor at the Université de Moncton, and well-respected property developers and construction industry leaders John Corazza and Joe Tippett. The proposal would see the former Moncton High School undergo significant internal expansion and renovations, including a renovated auditorium and space for arts groups and artists, including the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and others.

“It’s our full intention to make the former Moncton High School a beautiful example of what can be done with a heritage building,” Mr. Cochrane says. “Our proposal is to save the entire building and enhance it. Unlike another proposal on the table, we have no intention of demolishing most of it for a parking lot and leaving the auditorium to fall into disrepair. This would be a huge tragedy for our city’s heritage. Moncton deserves better than that.”

“We have been open and honest with Monctonians since day one,” he says. “We have not worked under a cloak of secrecy. We’ve presented to public sessions of council, met with a number of community groups and stakeholders – including the Moncton Public Library Board on a number of occasions – produced videos and architectural drawings, done media interviews and been active on social media. As well, last spring, we held public information sessions. We have been open and transparent. We think Monctonians deserve nothing less.”

Currently, MH Renaissance continues to meet regularly with prospective tenants in the private sector and the arts community. It is also the intent to have the rejuvenated complex be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) certified, a rating system recognized as the international mark of excellence for green building in more than 160 countries. LEED recognizes that sustainability should be at the heart of all buildings – in their design, construction and operation. Green buildings create a healthier indoor environment for occupants through better indoor air quality, less harmful products, and more natural daylight. They also reduce waste, conserve energy, decrease water consumption, and drive innovation.

“At this time, we want to sincerely thank our many supporters, including the public and many local politicians who are passionate about preserving and enhancing this heritage building. We recognize the love people have for this majestic structure,” Mr. Cochrane said. “It is heartening to know that they share our vision of the former Moncton High School.”

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Media contact:

Dennis Cochrane
dcochrane@stu.ca
506-471-2861

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