Board to hold feedback meeting

meeting sign

Cathedral Area residents will gather at the Connaught School gym this Tuesday evening to discuss options for the school’s future with school board administrators. An engineer’s report states repairs to the front steps and a portion of the southeast corner must be made if the school is to remain open in September. At a meeting with school council members last week, a board representative said the repairs are estimated to cost about $20,000.

Unknown is whether the board will invest $20,000 in a building it does not plan to maintain in the long run, or if it will order closure of the school in June. Maintaining the school past 2015 would require a more extensive rehabilitation and renovation plan.

Board trustees voted to build a new school, however they have not yet secured funding or a location. The earliest a replacement school could open is 2017, depending on funding.

At this point, most parents are unaware the school could close, leaving little time to re-arrange their lives. Some 350 students and a daycare centre will be displaced by a closure order.

The board is holding the meeting to gain feedback on possible options, such as busing students out of the neighbourhood or looking for other community facilities that could be re-purposed. Schools in the immediate area have little capacity to absorb the students.

There are concerns that if the school community is broken up now – ahead of schedule and with no forward plan – it will be very difficult if not impossible to get a school back into the neighbourhood.

The consultation will be held Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Connaught School Gym at 2124 Elphinstone, Argyle Street entrance. Members of the school community are working to publicize the meeting and to encourage residents to attend, as the results of a decision will greatly impact the community’s future.

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