Support a complete rebuild of Collegiate Avenue Public School in Olde Town Stoney Creek

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We, as residents and tax payers in the Province of Ontario, do not support moving forward with building an addition on to Collegiate Avenue Public School located in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

We ask that the Ontario Ministry of Education accept the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board’s (HWDSB) request to hold the $6 million of Ministry funding, granted in June 2017 towards building an addition onto Collegiate Avenue, to allow the HWDSB to resubmit a proposal for funding a full rebuild of Collegiate Avenue Public School.

OVERVIEW:

Olde Town Stoney Creek is a beautiful, unique community on the cusp of major change and revitalization. After the closures of 2 schools in our community, Collegiate Avenue Public School will be our only remaining elementary school, to accommodate over 500 students. 

Collegiate Avenue was the only elementary school in Lower Stoney Creek that did not receive full funding from the Ministry of Education for a rebuild, despite being in the worst condition and one of the oldest school buildings in the area.

With the cost of much needed upgrades (at least $4.35 million from the HWDSB) in addition to the funds slotted for the addition ($6 million from the Ministry of Education), it will cost nearly as much to update and enlarge this declining facility, as it would to build a brand new, state of the art school. How is this a wise investment of public funds, or for the future of our community, when this dated building will almost inevitably cost more in upkeep, utilities and further upgrades over the long-term?

Parents and residents of Olde Town Stoney Creek are left with major questions and concerns about the safety, sustainability and impact this will have on our children and community. 

In December 2017, the HWDSB passed a motion to ask the Ministry of Education to hold the $6 million granted for an addition, while they reapply for full funding to rebuild the school. If the Ministry does not agree to hold the funds prior to January 31st 2018, the HWDSB will move forward with plans for the addition.

Please support our petition and encourage our government to invest public funds wisely for the future of Olde Town Stoney Creek. 

Please visit www.oldetownstoneycreek.com for more information

 

Collegiate Avenue Public School:

·      will cost over $10 million to update and build an addition, combining both  Ministry & Board funds- that is nearly the same cost as building an entirely new facility, not to mention any unforeseen costs that arise during the renovation

 ·      is the 2nd oldest elementary school building in Lower Stoney Creek ( LSC), built in 1954, with multiple additions over the years- the only older school (Mountain View) will be closed, all other newer schools in the area will be closed or rebuilt

·      highest percentage on the Facility Condition Index (FCI) compared to all other elementary schools located in LSC- meaning it is in the poorest condition, even compared to other schools slated for closure

 ·      will have a capacity of over 500 students, in addition to private daycare spaces- currently one of the largest student registrations in LSC

 ·      is in an area slated for population intensification by the City of Hamilton and the Ontario Municipal Board- with many new developments already underway

 ·      is the only elementary school in LSC that did not receive full funding from the Ministry of Education for a complete rebuild- despite being in a community that will close and consolidate students from 2 of the 3 schools slated for closure

 

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS & CONCERNS:
While such a large investment into LSC Elementary Schools is a phenomenal achievement, residents and parents in the Olde Downtown area are left with concerns and questions around this major change in plans.

Our community was only ever consulted and engaged on a complete rebuild of the school. Many residents are still unaware of this change in plans, what it means and how it will impact our children and community as a whole.  

Of the 3 school closures taking place in LSC, 2 of them are located in the Olde Town Community. We will bear the majority of closures, yet are receiving the least investment back into our community.

1.    Why was Collegiate Avenue denied funding for a full rebuild?

When comparing all elementary schools in LSC, Collegiate is one of the oldest buildings and scored the lowest on the FCI ratings.

 It will also be used to consolidate students from 3 schools and will already have one of the larger enrollment rates, in an area slated for housing and population densification by the OMB and City of Hamilton. 

2.    Is building an addition onto a building in such poor repair a responsible investment of public funds?

Trustees and residents alike have questioned the feasibility of building an addition while staying on budget. Not to mention that the total estimated cost for an addition and upgrades is already not that far off from the cost of a full rebuild.

One also has to question the long-term sustainability and unforeseen expenses that will inevitably continue on such a dated site.
What type of facility will our community be left with and at what total cost? How much more will this dated facility cost taxpayers in the long run?

How long before our community will need a larger school?

3.     How can the current site be redesigned to ensure safety, while accommodating the influx of students and traffic?

The current school building stretches across the only accessible side of the property, leaving 2 narrow access points into the school yard on either side and limited space for a main entrance, bus loading and parking lot access. With such an increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic, how will the limited space be reconfigured to ensure proper accessibility for over 500 students, a daycare, staff, parents and more?

4.    Building an addition will mean the loss of valuable green space in an area with very limited parklands.

The school yard at Collegiate Avenue is one of the only accessible green spaces in the surrounding area. The addition will inevitably take up a larger footprint on the site than a rebuild, in addition to expanding the parking lot and school access points. How will this loss of accessible natural space impact local residents and children?

5.    How will having one of the only dated Elementary facilities in the area impact our community?

Our community was not engaged on the concept of building an addition onto Collegiate Avenue to consolidate all of the elementary school students in our area. How does this align with the Ministry’s plan to engage communities?
Will this school create an adequate and competitive learning environment for our children? Will new homeowners be interested in moving to an area with a dated facility? Will parents want to enrol their children in the only dated facility in the area?

 

LOWER STONEY CREEK ELMENTARY SCHOOL COMPARISON

 * Located in Olde Town Stoney Creek

School Name            Year Built      FCI Score       New Capacity  2016 Enrolment

Collegiate Avenue*             1955               54%                513                 278

Eastdale                             1965               51%                564                 219

Memorial                            1956               37%                495                 358

Mountainview                     1949               51%                N/A                 231

Green Acres*                       1957               48%                N/A                 295

RL Hyslop*                          1966               41%                N/A                 160

The Collegiate Ave building will be the only one of the above buildings to continue being used as an elementary school facility.

 

LOWER STONEY CREEK- BACKGROUND:

After completing an Accommodation Review for Lower Stoney Creek (LSC), the HWDSB approved the plan to close 3 of the 6 elementary schools in this area, while applying to the Ontario Ministry of Education for funding to fully rebuild the 3 remaining schools to consolidate all students in the area.


In October 2016, HWDSB received news that they had received full funding ($11.5 million) to rebuild Eastdale Elementary, and were even granted more funds than requested, to make the school larger than originally planned. (Likely to accommodate for the recently approved French Immersion Program at this site)

In June 2017, HWDSB received word on the other two schools; Memorial would receive funding for a full rebuild and Collegiate Avenue would receive $6 million for a 213 student addition and 3 daycare rooms.

In December 2017, the HWDSB passed a motion to ask the Ministry of Education to hold the $6 million granted for an addition, while they reapply for full funding to rebuild the school. If the Ministry does not agree to hold the funds prior to January 31st, the HWDSB will move forward with plans for the addition.   

 

Please support our petition and encourage the Government of Ontario to hold the previously granted funds, while they review the best process of moving forward with consolidating the elementary schools in Olde Town Stoney Creek. Thank you! 

Visit www.oldetownstoneycreek.com for more information



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