Design team chosen for brick reclamation project

Public viewing of the design proposals

Public viewing of the design proposals

An ‘old new touch’ is planned for the entryway to one of Regina’s most historic streetscapes. Regina designers Amanda Lang and Christine Bachinsky will transform a corner of 13th Avenue and Albert Street using century-old bricks and limestone salvaged by volunteers from demolished Connaught School.



Brick and stone rescue!

Hand-carved 102-year-old Bedford Limestone.

Hand-carved 102-year-old Bedford Limestone from Connaught School.

Help preserve historic Connaught School’s legacy. Lend a hand to reclaim original brick and hand-carved limestone pieces from the city landfill. City workers have generously offered their time to facilitate access to the brick piles. If you join in, please read the instructions that follow carefully.


Efforts to save building materials stymied

Before and After

Before and after shots as of Sunday. Some smaller trees were removed to other schools, but the big elms were chopped up to be discarded.

Demolition of Connaught has begun. The Cathedral Area Community Association and the Cathedral Village Business Association have written letters to the school board about retaining bricks for neighbourhood projects, but so far there has been no progress in obtaining the bricks. There will be a design open house Wed. Oct. 1 at the former Wascana School to discuss the promised replacement.


Community expressions

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Eleventh hour battle to keep Connaught open

Connaught School supporters will be fighting an eleventh hour battle to keep their school open tonight. Trustees will consider a recommendation to close the school in June, based mainly on liability and insurance issues. A recent community survey shows the vast majority of Connaught School families and residents want the school to stay open and they want to be involved in developing a satisfactory renewal plan.

The province recently approved funding for renewal planning but Regina Public won’t get a budget approval for construction until April 2015 at earliest. Parents have raised concerns that the rush to relocate Connaught students into hastily organized facilities is more costly than making recommended repairs to stay open, and will put their kids’ health and learning experiences at risk. As well, a poorly planned transition is poised to jeopardize future enrolment viability.



Board warns info will likely be redacted

Regina’s public school division has served notice that a request for copies of documents and correspondence related to Connaught School of the past year will cost more than $2,400 in processing fees and will be heavily redacted. (more…)

Report released to SOCH

Regina Public Schools has been sitting on a report since August that gives the building a longer life expectancy and puts into question the need to underpin Connaught School.  However, the report also highlights the need for structural tests, a recommendation Regina Public continues to adamantly oppose.

The report by BBK Engineers gave the building a longer shelf life of 10 years, and said “no safety items were noted except at the original front entrance, which has been dealt with.”  The report said the footings were deemed to be of sufficient size, and underpinning was not among the recommendations, something that had previously been flagged as a $4.5 million undertaking. This would renovation costs just below the cost of building new. However, the report raises concerns about the floor and ceiling slabs.


Board of Education motion

RBE minutes for Oct. 15, 2013

Motion by Miss A. Young:
WHEREAS the Board has researched the implications of obtaining a Heritage Designation for École Connaught Community School; and Whereas obtaining such a designation would serve to limit the Board’s options; BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board decline the request from the Connaught School Community Council to seek a heritage designation for the existing facility.
Motion Carried.

Carla Beck’s original motion was left on the table and not dealt with.

New school questioned

Brigette Zerr, a parent at Regina’s newly built Douglas Park School, questions the wisdom of new school builds in this video. She states that parent input was ignored, resulting in a building that – although perhaps a hit in the design theory world – hampers her children’s learning. Problems that didn’t exist in their old school building, such as excessive noise, overly large class sizes and the distractions of open architecture, are now a challenge for students. When you take away the walls, there’s no limit to class size, and Brigette’s son is now struggling in a class of 50 students.

Moose Jaw prepares historic schools for the next century

A tour of Moose Jaw’s renovated historic schools reveals night-and-day attitudes in cities just 45 minutes apart. Prairie South School Division values heritage, schools are kept in good shape, facility planning relies on local and in-house expertise, and renovations cost in the low millions, not 10s of millions. Board staff also warmly welcome the public to visit and examine their facilities. A breath of fresh air, and proof that alternative approaches are possible!