School board survey results and presentation

The 2 proposals given to the public to comment on.

The 2 proposals given to the public to comment on.

The results of a public survey on proposed Connaught school design concepts are now available online. Just 2 options were presented, both looking fairly similar. There were 72 responses. Top concerns included wanting a front entrance that reflected the original heritage building, parking lot encroachment on historic 13th Ave. and loss of green space. There was a strong call to maintain the heritage look of the original school, and to ensure the school is built in a timely fashion.

To read the full comments, click on the arrows beside each category and scroll down, here:
http://thotex.com/sites/cEi_tXXKB3A
For those interested in seeing how/if the architects accommodated community comments, there will be a presentation of a final basic design at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.
Footprint of the original school.

Footprint of the original school.

Original entrance and street setback.

Original entrance and street setback.

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Former 13th Ave. frontage

 

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Community working to rescue bricks

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Members of Save Our Connaught, the Cathedral Village Business Association and the Cathedral Area Community Association, with the help of City Councillor Shawn Fraser and Cliff Kobelsky of Frontier Masonry, are working with the City of Regina to reclaim some of bricks and stones from the landfill for use in community projects. If you’d like to volunteer to help out, or have ideas, please contact Trish Elliott.

Community expressions

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Trustees to study heritage designation

photoThe potential benefits of heritage designation for Connaught School will be further investigated by trustees. Trustee Carla Beck had originally put forward a motion to explore heritage status back in June. It came back to the table at last night’s board school board meeting with a recommendation “that the board not pursue a heritage designation for Ecole Connaught Community School at this time.” The recommendation, prepared by Director Julie MacRae, was accompanied by background information about city designations and a briefing note that explained, “Many of the City of Regina heritage incentives are tax-relief based. This would provide no benefit as RPS properties are tax-exempt.” It was put forward by trustee Aleanna Young, who was praised for her research on the file, along with board staff. However trustee Beck requested more information about federal and provincial grant sources beyond the City of Regina, as well as an opportunity for trustees to meet with heritage organizations. In a vote, the majority of the board agreed with Beck’s request. What happens next? We can hope representatives of Regina’s heritage community and the province’s Heritage Branch will now sit down with the board and develop a solid plan for heritage designation and renovation support.  Read the Motion and Briefing Note

Connaught group seeks provincial audit review

A request to examine school capital funding requests was submitted to the acting provincial auditor today by a group of citizens who want a second estimate on renovating Connaught School.

“We have concerns about the practice of submitting single-source estimates, and what appears to be limited oversight in assessing their reliability,” said Rene Dumont, chair of Save Our Connaught Heritage. “Our request is specific to the case of Connaught School in Regina, however the findings could be broadly applicable to all school divisions and districts.”

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Connaught milestone – still going strong

École Connaught Community School celebrates another important milestone this coming week, the 100th anniversary of the first day of classes. Connaught School was constructed in 1912 and opened its doors on Sept. 1, 1913.

“The school is going strong, and there are no plans to close it. It has a remarkable history and a solid future,” said Rene Dumont, chair of Save Our Connaught Heritage. The group wants to get the word out that Connaught remains an excellent option for students.

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Board rejects cooperation

Connaught frontCathedral Area residents are exploring their legal options after the Regina Board of Education voted to block conservation specialists from entering Connaught School.

“What are they afraid of?” asked Rene Dumont, chair of Save Our Connaught Heritage. “Every responsible home owner asks for more than one estimate on a project.”

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Request to School Board

The Ecole Connaught SCC has sent a letter to the Regina Public School Board asking for the following:

1. Work in cooperation with Save Our Connaught to develop a renovation option for the school.

2. Allow specialists access to the building, for the purposes of examining its structural condition.

3. Support an application for heritage designation, to allow access to federal and provincial funds for heritage renovations and restorations.

The board will consider this at their meeting on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m., 1600-4th Ave. Citizens are encouraged to attend.

What other cities and towns are doing to preserve historic schools – read this Leader-Post article.

Robert’s Letter to Premier Wall

Dear Premier Wall,

I write as a 1934 model senior citizen who enjoys anything old, attractive, well preserved and useful. A prime example being the Regina red brick and mortar architecturally magnificent Connaught public school and nearby Connaught public library. RENEW don’t destroy!

Read more of Robert Walker’s Letter

Good education doesn’t require brand new architecture – expert

talk cropped

Paul W. Bennett has seen more than a few historic schools mistreated and demolished in his day. He’s also seen some stunningly beautiful renovations. But there’s one thing they all have in common, he says.

“I’ve never found a situation yet where a board document didn’t inflate the cost of renovation and lowball the cost of new,” Dr. Bennett told a full house at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre on Monday, May 20. (more…)