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Petition launched

On May 2nd, Save Our Connaught Heritage launched a formal petition to the Regina Public School Board. It reads:

We are asking the Regina Public School Board to work in cooperation with the Save Our Connaught Heritage Committee, on behalf of community members, to develop a sound, affordable renovation plan that will support the current Ecole Connaught Community School building as a 21st Century learning environment, while respecting community values and preserving the heritage of this nationally recognized historic school.

Watch for this petition at community events, and volunteer to help circulate it by contacting saveourconnaught@gmail.com

Public Talk

Grammar (2)Endangered Schoolhouses: Connaught School and the Disappearing “Palace School” Tradition, 1870 to the Present

Illustrated Public Talk

by Paul W. Bennett, Director, Schoolhouse Consulting, and Adjunct Professor of Education, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

May 20, 7 p.m., Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre – Free of Charge

Historic schoolhouses constructed in late 19th and early 20th century urban Canada will be the focus for this illustrated public talk. Drawing upon current research, the presenter will explore the fascinating history of the so-called “palace schools” and offer a passionate defence of this irreplaceable architectural heritage. Dr. Bennett notes that every city has surviving palace schools and Regina boasts one of the finest — Connaught School, designed by J.H. Puntin and built in 1912.  It remains a classic example of one of these unique architectural landmarks, demonstrating how schoolhouses were once powerful symbols of civic and community pride.

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The greenest building is the one we already have

environmental value“For those concerned with climate change and other environmental impacts, reusing an existing building and upgrading it to maximum efficiency is almost always the best option regardless of building type and climate,” according to the findings of a building research study by Preservation Green Lab. Released in January, 2012, the report is the most comprehensive study to date of the environmental impacts of new construction versus renovation and retrofitting. It found that no matter how energy efficient a new building may be, it typically takes many decades to overcome the environmental costs of demolition and new construction. Read the report.

Wheels are turning

The SOC working group met over the weekend to discuss upcoming plans and activities. We have put in a request to the school board to gain access to architectural drawings of the school, which will help form the basis of an alternative renovation plan. The director referred the matter to the board, which will meet to decide if they will consider our request or not. If they decide to consider it, the matter will come up at the next school board meeting for a vote. Plans are also under way for some fun and informative community events to promote awareness of the Save Our Connaught Heritage campaign. Meanwhile, it appears Connaught is not among the government’s “priority 1A”  schools chosen to go forward to the next planning stage this year. The two schools at the top of the list, Gravelbourg and Langenburg, were given the planning green light. This opens up more opportunity to propose an affordable, respectful renovation of our existing building, seeing as they don’t have funds to move the rebuild forward. Stay tuned for more news and event information!

New school design process on the horizon

Following the Alberta model, the Sask. Ministry of Education has allocated $6 million to investigate the possibility of public-private partnerships for new school construction, with bulk tendering of design and construction.  Education Minister Russ Marchuk told the Leader-Post yesterday that up to 10 schools at a time could share common blueprints under the new system.  Here is the full article:

The Regina Mom’s open letter to the Premier.

the regina mom

As you are aware, dear Reader, the regina mom is not impressed with the Regina Public Schools Board of Education and their decision to tear down a 100 year-old school without benefit of a second opinion.  So, the regina mom, being who she is, sent a letter to the Premier and copied it far and wide.*

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Here’s the letter:

An Open Letter to Premier Brad Wall Regarding Connaught School March 16, 2013

Dear Premier Wall:

I understand that your government has received a request from the Regina Board of Education (RBE) to replace Connaught School. For a variety of reasons, I request that you deny it.

Before you is the opportunity to make a reckless decision or to invest in an integral piece of our history as a city and a province, as housed in that building. As a 25-year resident of the area I draw on…

View original post 701 more words

Action Planning Meeting

Save Our Connaught campaign – Where science, history, art, music and community action are coming together to support a very special neighbourhood school! Join us:
Sunday, March 17 1:30 p.m.
Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre
2900-13th Ave.
(Note time change from the usual 2 p.m.)
Childcare will be provided on request only  – If you need it, please let us know by noon Saturday by emailing pelliott@accesscomm.ca

Save Our Connaught meeting to save the 100-year-old school

News Talk 980 CJME: Members push forward with plans for letter writting campaigns and teach-ins throughout Regina

Reported by Kelly Malone
First Posted: Mar 10, 2013 6:33pm

A week after being formed the Save Our Connaught group got together on Sunday to work on their plan to save the 100-year-old community school from demolition.

Read the New Talk report

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, March 17, 1:30 p.m. Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre

Action Planning Today

Join us today, Sunday, at 2 p.m., Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre, Childcare is provided.  Details.