On October 27, St. Andrew’s College grew by 15 acres. With the purchase of 15900 Yonge Street, we can now proudly boast that the campus is 125 acres in total.
St. Andrew’s has maintained an interest in this property since the early 1980s and has considered purchasing it on a number of occasions. But the timing and logistics were never right. Meanwhile, the Town of Aurora has continued to boom, and land—particularly adjacent land—is scarce, if not impossible, to come by.
This summer, the school leadership engaged in another round of negotiations with the property owner, and an offer was made. Following numerous conference calls with our Board of Governors, and discussions with the property owner, an agreement was reached.
"I want to specifically thank Dem Rogers ’59, who coincidently grew up there, for his significant financial support to help us acquire the property," says Headmaster Kevin McHenry. Thanks is also extended to John Dunlap ’88 and Dan Stock, Chairman of the Board of Governors, for their leadership and support in helping make this happen.
The site lies on the south-west corner of St. John’s Sideroad and Yonge Street. With 340-metres of frontage on Yonge Street, the land bounds an intersection that serves as a major gateway into the Town of Aurora.
The corner property comprises a 4,000 sq. ft. heritage home; four-car garage with living quarters above; riding arena; stables and a loft; 32-car parking; tennis court; swimming pool; and two usable fields. These spaces will be repurposed to serve the School, with options explored in the design of its 2017-2022 strategic plan.
In the meantime, the School has leased the main house to a local couple. This will allow for a positive revenue stream, and a sustainable use for the property, while a more substantial long-term plan is developed. This will be done in conjunction with SAC’s Board of Governors, Property & Facilities, and Finance Committees. We will also work with the Town of Aurora, York Region, and the Conservation Authority.
"There is tremendous potential at this location—from the usable buildings that can house programs to the trail system that can enrich outdoor education," Headmaster McHenry says.
Environmental studies programs can benefit both the students and the surrounding ecological framework. Two additional sports fields can take pressure from SAC’s existing high-demand playing fields. The tennis court can be resurfaced and used as a multi-purpose sports court.
"Those looking back in five, 50, or 100 years will confirm that we made a good decision in acquiring this property," Headaster McHenry states. "This has been a four-decade process, and, as always, I remain thankful for our progressive Board and their steadfast support and vision."