Trustee Receives Strong Words From Chair For Presentation
By Billie Wong
There were some stern words from the chair of the local Prairie South School Division for a trustee and the question is was it unnecessary speculation or proper forward thinking by the South Hill trustee.
At their regular April 2nd meeting Trustee Jan Radwanski presented three pieces of information to the board as well as administration which left board chair Tim McLeod wondering why the trustee would be second guessing the professionals and “putting the cart before the horse.”
“Let the ministry officials do their jobs and not worry yourself about what neighbourhoods are going to be negatively impacted by an oversized school (that) is going to be dropped from the sky on top of them. I think it is a ludicrous suggestion quite frankly,” chair McLeod told Trustee Radwanski.
Earlier in the discussion Trustee Radwanski had presented three documents to school division Administration.
The first document was a superimposition of a proposed joint use school using the size of the school grounds in Swift Current’s joint use school on the existing Westmount School site. Trustee Radwanski pointed out there was insufficient space to create a same sized school yard on the existing Westmount School site.
The Westmount School site is 21,000 square meters with the adjoining Park Hill Park having 36,000 square meters and the Swift Current joint use school site is 83,000 square meters.
“If we are looking at the Swift Current model the Westmount site would be 26,000 square meters short and actually overlap into housing on the ten hundred block of Vaughn, Curry and Duffield Crescents,” Trustee Radwanski said.
A second map superimposition looked at the Sacred Heart School site which Trustee Radwanski said was only 18,000 square meters and the adjacent Smith Park would add an additional 43,000 square meters still leaving the site 22,000 square meters short compared to the 83,000 square meter footprint of the Swift Current joint use school.
“So if that school site was placed on that site as in Swift Current same size it would overlap onto the 12 hundred and 13 hundred blocks of Warner and Vaugh (Streets) and eliminate those alleyways by Smith Park,” he said.
At present no site for the planned joint use school has been announced.
Trustee Radwanski went on to state the two sites did not comply with existent City of Moose Jaw green space guidelines and the city plan if the Swift Current joint use school foot print was utilized on South Hill.
An additional concern is if the proposed joint use school was for 1,000 students then under City bylaws 125 off site parking spots would be required.
“I think it is important as we move into the planning stage of the new South Hill School all of the information should be provided to the planning committee.”
School board superintendent Tony Baldwin said the Ministry was confident there was adequate space for a new school on South Hill.
“The Ministry confirmed there would be space adequate for a school that size and I am aware the Ministry is reaching out to the City of Moose Jaw related to that conversation,” Baldwin stated.
The size of the joint use school at Harbour Landing was mentioned as being smaller than the Swift Current joint use school’s footprint.
Trustee Radwanski repeated his contentions that the two school yards sites and adjacent City owned property was insufficient for the same land space requirements used in the Swift Current joint use school.
He claimed to meet the Swift Current footprint would mean putting four Gutrheridge Fields together from chain link to chain link to chain link in a neighbourhood.
Shortly after this point chair McLeod spoke sternly regarding the information and comments Trustee Radwanski presented.
“There are Ministry experts in the field they know the bylaws better than any of us. They know the Ministry requirements better than any of us. They are not going to impose the Swift Current school on tip of our existing school sites…the proposition is ridiculous,” chair McLeod said.
He continued to express strong words regarding Trustee Radwanski’s presentation.
“I feel like you are saying building a new school on South Hill is something to be feared and quite frankly that is a silly suggestion.”
Trustee Radwanski said he never said to simply put a new joint use school with a footprint the size of Swift Current’s on the two school sites - Westmount or Sacred Heart but nevertheless the Ministry of Education should be provided the information.
“Maybe there is something the Ministry officials don’t know and I would like to point out to the Ministry officials through Mr Baldwin,” he said.
Trustee Radwanski used the recent example of how Ministry officials had provided insufficient information to the Minister and the Cornwall School closure was reversed as an example of an oversight.
Chair McLeod responded the school divisions were projecting the number of students enrolled in the joint use school in the future for the Ministry and the size nor the location were at the present time unknown.