Friday, October 7, 2011

UPDATE ON TCDSB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PLAN


From a recent report to the Lakeshore Grounds Coordinating Committee.
The Board has a 99 year lease on a site fronting on Lakeshore Blvd. on the west side of Col. Sam Smith Drive.    Ministry funding for a new school has been approved.   Christ the King and St. Teresa’s Schools are to be merged and the new school will accommodate 530-550 pupils.    The hiring of architects and consultants and beginning the site plan approval process with the City has just begun.    It is unlikely that the school will be completed before September 2014 and it could well be 2015.

Christ the King has been designated an Eco-School and Principal Pillo described the many activities and initiatives that encourage environmental conservation and practices - for example there are no plastic water bottles used!     It is one of the leading schools in the City in this respect and they look forward to continuing and expanding these activities on the new site.

Maia Puccetti is an architect in charge of planning and approvals for the Board and she explained that meeting LEED construction standards was extremely difficult within the provincial funding guidelines but that the Board was committed to as green a construction process as possible.    They are involved with the Evergreen Foundation and have “greened” many existing school sites.     The Lakeshore site is small and they anticipate a 40 - 50,000 square foot school.   They typically build to two storeys but may consider three.      She identified the management of storm water as being very expensive because of new City guidelines and was aware of the proposals for daylighting the creeks on the Grounds.

There was considerable discussion about the traffic congestion at Lakeshore and Col. Sam Smith Dr. during school drop off and pick up times and the Board was urged to consider locating the elementary school drop off point on their own property rather than on Col. Sam Smith Dr.

The Board is aware of the location of the heritage orchard and the community concern about protecting it.    However Ms. Puccietti pointed out that long experience with school playgrounds has taught them that nut trees and fruit trees present problems - the nuts become weapons and the fruit trees attract bees and wasps!     They are hoping to use the land between the school property and the Lakeshore Blvd. as passive play area and it would have to be fenced.

There will be consultation with the community as the planning process proceeds and the website of the Board will provide updates.  


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