Updates and Dates to Remember

Hi everyone,

There is a lot happening in our downtown neighbourhood and in the wider West Hamilton area.  In case you haven’t heard, West Hamilton is undergoing an Accommodation Review by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.  This process includes a review, with community input, of enrollment levels at our schools and the state-of-repair of our school facilities.  Included in the review is Central Public School.   Board member Paul Nichols and I have attended two public information sessions.  We are so very lucky to have Paul Nichols on our board as he is a planner with the Toronto District School Board and has depths of knowledge about the process (and he doesn’t mind patiently explaining it to me).

Please be assured that there is no serious consideration of closing Central Public School.  The initial report recommended closing Hess Street School (which is also not a good idea).  The process itself is challenging.  The province will offer money to build new schools, and although there is funding available for maintenance and repair of existing schools, the money is inadequate and additions to existing schools are normally not approved.  One gentleman at the ARC meeting on March 8 mentioned his concern about giving up school properties and then having to buy land in the future when we have more residents in the downtown.  This is a valid concern as there are plans in the works for further intensification in the lower city (West Harbour, Barton/Tiffany).  You can find more information at this link:

HWDSB-Accommodation-Review

Please feel free to share your feedback with the school board.  The DNA will be writing a letter to support the retention of all nine schools as we believe all are important community centres/hubs.

DATES TO REMEMBER

LRT Meeting of Council – Tuesday, March 28.  This is a special meeting of council to vote on the EAP.  This should be a simple vote, however, we know that some councillors are getting nervous as we move closer to the construction phase.  The agenda for the meeting is not yet available online.  Updates to follow.

June 24, 2017 – Party in the Park!  We will celebrate our 45th anniversary with music, displays, vendors, food trucks, face painting, balloon animals, horse and buggy rides.  Fun, fun, fun!  Hope to see you there.

 

One Response to Updates and Dates to Remember

  1. I recall that the HWDSB did an accommodation review in 2001. It took so long that the province sent a consultant to take over. He said that while the province said that it was just bcause there were too many ‘vacant educational spaces ‘ in the schools that were under the jurisdiction of the former HSB. He stated that while that was true many of those schools were more than 60 years old and that there were too many temporary portable classrooms being used. His recommendation was to close all of the middle schools. The HWDSB just closed schools like Tweedsmuir and Bennetto in the lower income spaces in the lower city but left others like Dalewood and Ryerson open. Most of his suggestions were ignored (no surprise there). I know someone who is a consultant in Heritage Buildings. He told me that places like Central School cannot be torn down but they can be used for other things. Since Benetto and Robert Land are being used the Central building would have to remain though not as a school.

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