The former Golden Square Primary School site is still being progressed to public sale, almost three years after the Department of Education confirmed intentions to get rid of the land.
The Laurel Street campus was one of those phased out as education priorities shifted in recent decades. Others included Bendigo North Primary’s Nolan Street grounds and the Golden Square Secondary campus.
Over the road from the former Golden Square Primary building, MD Auto Care Services & Repairs’ Donna Lacey said a private sale might help attract foot traffic to local stores, some of which were struggling.
“We were sort of hoping they would would have turned the school into offices, as they often do with those old schools - turn them into consultancies,” Ms Lacey said.
Currently the site sits empty, with windows barred and doors boarded up. Some of the few people to use it are police, who Ms Lacey sometimes sees running around on training exercises.
The site had been offered for purchase to other government agencies in the past, but a department of education spokesperson said no interest was expressed.
The spokesperson did not answer a question about when the grounds and buildings would be sold, or whether anything had held up the process.
They did say money raised from selling former school sites goes towards maintaining, creating and improving public infrastructure.
There are no plans to sell the Bendigo North site through private sale, though the department has offered it to other government agencies, the department spokesperson said.
Part of the former Golden Square Secondary College site has spent some time on the education department’s list of places being processed for sale.
That site sits across from Sam’s Auto Electrical. Owner Sam Pearson wished a business could use the land at the school to build an industrial shed. After all, the land is right next to an industrial zone.
However, Mr Pearson and others working in the area believe if it is ever sold it will become a residential zone.
School buildings there, and at Bendigo North, had been pulled down after being decommissioned.
Now, apart from the still used gym, the few visible reminders the secondary school ever existed included some retaining walls and a football oval complete with wonky goal posts.
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