Special Report: Education

The Truth About Sanford Avenue School

We can destroy this school and remain the same kind of people. Or we can preserve it and become the kind of people we have always aspired to be.

By Gary Santucci
Published January 19, 2013

Sanford School (Image Credit: Chris Healey)
Sanford School (Image Credit: Chris Healey)

Background

Background on how the Hamilton Wentworth District Schoo Board (HWDSB) came to receive the Demolition Permit for Sanford Avenue School.

Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee - Minutes 12-007

July 19, 2012

(b) Buildings and Landscapes of Interest (yellow):

(ii) Sanford Avenue School, 149 Sanford Avenue North (L) - P. Wilson --- No update

Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee - Report 12-004

August 16, 2012

The Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee Presents Report 12-004 To The Planning Committee And Respectfully Advises And Requests:

1. Sanford Avenue School, 149 Sanford Avenue North (L)

(a) That the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee request that Council put a hold on any demolition permit respecting Sanford Avenue School, 149 Sanford Avenue North, until further discussion with the School Board can occur;

(b) That the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee request that Council direct staff to meet with School Board officials to discuss holding an expression of Interest (EOI) regarding the adaptive reuse of Sanford School;

(c) That the adaptive reuse of Sanford School be placed as an item on the School Board Properties Sub-Committee.

Planning Committee - Report 12-013

September 5, 2012

The Planning Committee Presents Report 12-013 And Respectfully Recommends:

Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee - Report 12-004 (Item 5.2) Council, September 12, 2012, Planning Committee - Report 12-013

Sanford Avenue School, 149 Sanford Avenue North (L)

(a) That the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee request that Council put a hold on any demolition permit respecting Sanford Avenue School, 149 Sanford Avenue North, until further discussion with the School Board can occur;

(b) That the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee request that Council direct staff to meet with School Board officials to discuss holding an Expression of Interest (EOI) regarding the adaptive reuse of Sanford School;

(c) That the adaptive reuse of Sanford School be placed as an item on the School Board Properties Sub-Committee.

City Council, Minutes - (12-017)

September 12, 2012

Present: Mayor: R. Bratina Councillors: C. Collins, B. Clark, S. Duvall, J. Farr, L. Ferguson, T. Jackson, B. Johnson, B. McHattie, S. Merulla, B. Morelli, J. Partridge

Planning Committee Report 12-013

2. Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee - Report 12-004 (Item 5.2)

(Morelli/Merulla)

That the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee Report 12-004 be referred back to the Planning Committee for discussion.

CARRIED


HWDSB applied for the demolition permit for Sanford Avenue School on November 13, 2012. The demolition permit was issued on December 21, 2012.

What Happened To The Heritage Committee Recommendations?

Clr. Morelli moved a motion, seconded by Clr. Merulla to send the Heritage Committee report back to the Planning Committee on Sept 12, 2012, for discussion, which finally appeared on the agenda of the Planning Committee, only on Jan 15, 2013 - where the Planning Committee voted to receive the report with no further action taken.

HWSDB got its demolition permit for Sanford Avenue School, unchallenged by Hamilton City Council, on December 21, 2012.

Is the interior of Sanford School building really a Hazmat suit zone?

The people of Hamilton have been repeatedly told by HWDSB Trustees and Staff, City Staff, including the local media that Sanford School Building is unsafe, hazardous and toxic, and that to access this building a Hazmat suit had to be worn!

This rationale was used by HWDSB to deny access to even those who were very keen on redeveloping this building into a community asset.

Well, very recent pictures of the interior of the building have surfaced in the community and they tell an entirely different story! It clearly appears that the people of Hamilton have been misled about the hazardous conditions inside this building.

The HWDSB, City councillors & staff, who have facilitated the demolition permit for Sanford School must explain their actions to the community and defend their decision in light of this new evidence.

Are the conditions inside this building so toxic that the HWDSB Trustees can justify denying access before Sanford School is demolished?

Judge the truth for yourself:

Photos of Sanford School

No 'Do Not Enter - Hazard' sign. Not even a 'No Tresspassing' sign. No visible security.
No 'Do Not Enter - Hazard' sign. Not even a 'No Tresspassing' sign. No visible security.

The door appears to be open here - with no visible security.
The door appears to be open here - with no visible security.

No visible security at this door, either.
No visible security at this door, either.

More of the same at this door.
More of the same at this door.

Terrazzo floor, walls and ceiling on main floor hallway in excellent shape.
Terrazzo floor, walls and ceiling on main floor hallway in excellent shape.

Classroom floor in excellent shape.
Classroom floor in excellent shape.

Classroom floor in excellent shape.
Classroom floor in excellent shape.

Brass rails, terrazzo floors, walls, doors in entrance hallway in excellent shape.
Brass rails, terrazzo floors, walls, doors in entrance hallway in excellent shape.

Terrazzo floor, walls and ceiling on main floor hallway to gym in excellent shape.
Terrazzo floor, walls and ceiling on main floor hallway to gym in excellent shape.

Most office shape in great shape. All doors and hardware of high quality.
Most office shape in great shape. All doors and hardware of high quality.

Terrazzo floor on main level hallway in excellent shape. All walls, doors and hardware in good condition.
Terrazzo floor on main level hallway in excellent shape. All walls, doors and hardware in good condition.

Polished stone cladding with hardwood handrails in excellent condition. All stairwells are of steel and in very good condition with minor wear.
Polished stone cladding with hardwood handrails in excellent condition. All stairwells are of steel and in very good condition with minor wear.

Minor plaster repair and finish work on good quality walls and ceiling.
Minor plaster repair and finish work on good quality walls and ceiling.

Minor repair and repainting of stair treads and landing floors.
Minor repair and repainting of stair treads and landing floors.

Carpet removal, refinishing wood floors and repainting walls.
Carpet removal, refinishing wood floors and repainting walls.

Terrazzo floor on main hallway, walls, ceilling, doors, hardware in excellent shape.
Terrazzo floor on main hallway, walls, ceilling, doors, hardware in excellent shape.

Classroom floor, walls in excellent shape.
Classroom floor, walls in excellent shape.

Stairwell in excellent condition.
Stairwell in excellent condition.

Sealing tape on insulation of heating pipes in stairwell peeled back.
Sealing tape on insulation of heating pipes in stairwell peeled back.

Leak spot #1. Terrazzo floor on third floor hallway in excellent shape.
Leak spot #1. Terrazzo floor on third floor hallway in excellent shape.

Leak spot #2. To prevent this, all that was required was removing the pooling of water on the roof, and patching the eroded surface.
Leak spot #2. To prevent this, all that was required was removing the pooling of water on the roof, and patching the eroded surface.

Minor Roof Repair work - Unattended. Similar condition on main roof, resulting in 'two' leak spots in hallway on third floor. Rest of roof in good condition.
Minor Roof Repair work - Unattended. Similar condition on main roof, resulting in 'two' leak spots in hallway on third floor. Rest of roof in good condition.

Classroom floor, walls, ceiling and windows in excellent shape.
Classroom floor, walls, ceiling and windows in excellent shape.

Terrazzo Floor in Hallway, walls, ceiling in excellent shape.
Terrazzo Floor in Hallway, walls, ceiling in excellent shape.

Vinyl Floor classroom in excellent shape.
Vinyl Floor classroom in excellent shape.

Terrazzo Floor in washroom, and fixtures in excellent shape.
Terrazzo Floor in washroom, and fixtures in excellent shape.

Glued carpet removal stains.
Glued carpet removal stains.

Terrazzo Floor on third floor Hallway in excellent shape.
Terrazzo Floor on third floor Hallway in excellent shape.

Glued carpet removal stains Hardwood floors require sanding and polishing.
Glued carpet removal stains Hardwood floors require sanding and polishing.

Glued carpet removal spots. Hardwood floors require sanding and polishing.
Glued carpet removal spots. Hardwood floors require sanding and polishing.

Stairwell in excellent condition.
Stairwell in excellent condition.

Terrazzo Floor on 2nd floor Hallway in excellent shape. No leaks here.
Terrazzo Floor on 2nd floor Hallway in excellent shape. No leaks here.

Secrecy and Dubious Information

As everyone can see clearly, this building is in excellent condition inside and out, despite its age and the normal wear and tear over the years.

Why all the secrecy and dubious information, around this being a 'hazmat suit zone'?

The local residents maintain that they have not been consulted on this demolition. It is very clear that only a few parents of the Cathy Wever School, and a few members of the Pinky Lewis Rec Centre, were consulted.

This limited consultation is being passed off as full-fledged community consultation. Why has the HWDSB misled the community about the hazardous conditions inside Sanford Avenue School?

The Demolition Solution As Proposed by City and HWDSB

With no new funding commitment by the City until 2015 or beyond, and a consultant report which confirms the underutilization of Pinky Lewis Rec Centre.

"The Sanford School Building is by all accounts in rough shape." "You have to wear a Hazmat suit to go inside!"

This common justification is now proven to be an exaggeration.

"We are demolishing sanford school for green-space."

But we already have four larger green-spaces within three minutes walk from this building:


The Adaptive Re-use Solution

As Proposed by Hamilton residents, with no funding expectations from the City.

The adaptive re-use solution will generate new tax-assessment from:

In addition:

And all at a savings of $15 million to taxpayers.

The adaptive re-use solution:

No Specific Plans

A common criticism is: "The critics of demolition have no specific plans for developing this building."



Think Before You Act!

We can destroy this school and remain the same kind of people. Or we can preserve it and become the kind of people we have always aspired to be.

Gary Santucci is the co-owner, with Barbara Milne, of The Pearl Company theatre and arts centre.

98 Comments

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By Anon1 (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2013 at 22:10:07

I cannot believe these images! It makes no sense.
What happend to reuse and innovation?
Disgusted by this newly exposed information.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2013 at 22:50:06

I agree with you 100% Gary. But is there anything we can do now? The school board seems intransigent.

What do you think we could to to help you? Is City Hall the right venue for this fight? The school board? Somewhere else?

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2013 at 23:26:23

We have to expand the media coverage of the story. Encourage more in depth reporting of the Sanford School demolition by the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, The National Post, CBC as well as all of our local media just as Raise the Hammer has done. Keep the pressure on City Council and the Provincial Government.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 14:52:25 in reply to Comment 85317

What utter bull shit. A few photos with "Yup looks good to me" is an expose? Of what? My son went to that school while another old wreck was demolished. I am very familiar with it and I know a few things about construction too.

All you have done is minimize the expense required to rehabilitate this building. If you and others believe it makes sense to maintain and operate Sanford I urge you to band together and hire a professional or reputable organization to inspect and assess this building. HWDSB did and clearly while a hazmat suit may not be required there is asbestos throughout the building. Any building this big and this old will require a large operating budget notwithstanding your few photos and single sentence anectdotes.

The only disgrace here is that this building was not pulled down years ago. If you want to question inner city versus suburban education spending that is where the issue may have some validity.

Frankly Gary this article is so disingenuous it undermines any credibility preserving Sanford may have had. Any structure can be rehabilitated, all it takes is money. This building like many of its age will be a money pit. Pretending that it is in far better condition will not change that nor will it convince those who require facts before supporting an issue.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 21:08:56 in reply to Comment 85739

Real developers with real money and real track records of restoration and adaptive reuse want to buy this building and renovate it. But the Board refuses to sell it and continues to lie about community suport and lie about needing to knock down the building for green space. That's the truth of this sordid affair and you're lust for destruction is part of the problem.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 16:57:40 in reply to Comment 85748

Don't these developers have names? What have they proposed to the board? If it is as good a deal as you are implying I am sure something can be done.

Pardon my skepticism but I have met people who claimed to be real estate "investors" and "developers" who have yet to buy their first property. I have met some too who are forever looking for some impossibly great deal they can literally flip overnight. A deal that leaves the HWDSB with environmental liabilities or one that requires possession to remain with the board while it is put to other uses is unlikely to be accepted. It would not be seen as being in the best interests of the Board.

I think before accusing HWDSB of misinforming the public or pursuing some secret agenda you should identify these "developers" and their plans.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 17:24:32 in reply to Comment 85927

You're a little late to the party. It's been in the news for months, the reason we're having a debate is this developer wants to make an offer on rhe buildin but the Board refuses to sell it and pretends it's carrying out the comunity will. Why don't you take a break from slandering Gary Santucci's character and learn a bit about what's really going on here.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 18:27:25 in reply to Comment 85929

My posts are based on the simple fact that without the requisite training a person can not simply enter a building and say "I don't see any hazards so it is not hazardous".

Nor can they look at an issue like water ingress and say "patch the roof over there and the leak over there will stop". Construction professionals do not simply eyeball a complex issue they have tests and test equipment to come to conclusions. Not GS though he has no credentials in the construction industry but he is so sure of himself he can simply say that HWDSB is lying about the condition of the school and pursuing a secret agenda.

That alone is sufficient to cement a reputation as big bag of wind. After reading this article I was ready to take him to task for that alone. I prepared a very critical post but then I saw the link he posted to the inspection and related documents such as the HWDSB 2009 Asbestos Inventory. I deleted my post rather than question his competence before I had the whole story. I read all of the linked documents and was appalled to discover they completely contradict what GS has said regarding the asbestos issue.

I did not set out to criticize anyone but between his arrogance that he can eyeball a structure like Sanford and his lies concerning the asbestos issue, he deserves far worse than anything I have said about him. If I really wanted to undermine his credibility all it would take is one link. I have kept the discussion focused on the Sanford issue, but you might want to investigate yourself and google Gary Santucci, Hamilton. It will give you a different perspective on GS.

The guy who is late to the party is Mike Clark. Oh I am not trying to stall things but at the 11 hour 59th minute but I have to ask whats the hurry... Yes that Mike Clark with his band of unnamed developers. Wow so that is it huh, sure sounds like Mike is stalling and others are pounding the drums. By the way he has not made an offer to purchase Sanford he has asked for time to prepare a "preliminary plan" which is not an offer either.

So I take it this is the sum total of all the "developers" ready to uhh develop Sanford. We will see if this preliminary plan actually involves anyone purchasing the property. My guess is not with that school on it but maybe Mikes "Invisible Five" will surface and show some long green.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2013 at 06:21:11 in reply to Comment 85931

Chris, you need to moderate your intemperate commentary. I have already had to remove one comment because it crossed a legal line into defamation of character, and your other comments skate to the edge of that line. You can disagree with Gary's assessment of the school without accusing him of malfeasance.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:22:20 in reply to Comment 85951

Have you read the documents GS links to Ryan? If not you need to. After you have read them tell me again he is not knowingly misrepresenting the environmental & health hazards at Sanford. He is a grown man (he is at least 60). He impugns the work of professionals with his dismissal of their assessment but that is OK? He has no credentials what so ever and no backing evidence for his claims that no major maintenance or repairs are required and that no significant hazards exist and that stands too?

I stand by everything I have said even what you have deleted. It has been stated in these comments that GS is disrespected by some at city hall. If he is as careless in his claims as he has been in this article then that does not surprise me. That was the nub of what I said that you deleted. Under the circumstances it should have stood.

I am posting for a reason Ryan. I despise people who disseminate false information. I believe in giving people as many facts as possible and letting them make informed decisions. GS is making false claims and I have taken him to task for it.

If that warrants censorship on your forum then you are free to censor and delete every post I have ever made on RTH. Most have been for exactly the same reason I have posted here. See my comments regarding Chris Ecklund who I was even more vocal in decrying. Yet those comments stand. Odd isn't it that GS who is a friend of RTH so to speak gets protection from you but Eckland doesn't. Are you playing favourites Ryan? Or perhaps GS had his lawyer send you an email? If that is the case Ryan don't sweat it man if I can sign off and assume full liability for my comments I will. I maintain they are borne out in the very documents Santucci links to.

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By SCRAP (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 01:57:32

I saw this on facebook, it is an excellent presentation. When looking at this, It just brings up more questions in my mind, as to ask what the hell is going on?

It was taxpayers dollar that originally built this school, it is the people by right that own it. For far too long, the people have been silent and accepted things, the status quo, which we all know needs to change.







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By arienc (registered) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 09:32:38

I don't get it.

Why so much eagerness to destroy a perfectly good asset? Do the School Board really believe money grows on trees? Or do they just harbour a secret hatred for Hamilton and its people?

Certainly making the minor repairs that will enable this building to be functional would cost substantially less than tearing down and building new. Not to mention maintaining the heritage and the fact that structurally, buildings just aren't made to last like this any more.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 14:55:44 in reply to Comment 85321

It is not "a perfectly good asset". It is an old wreck riddled with asbestos which would cost a small fortune to operate.

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By DollHouse (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 10:33:16

Not sure how this isn't protected. It seems the local councilman sent this to committee to save the building. What happened?

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 10:46:06 in reply to Comment 85322

Sorry, it was the local councillor who sent the plan to save the building back to committee.

"Clr. Morelli moved a motion, seconded by Clr. Merulla to send the Heritage Committee report back to the Planning Committee on Sept 12, 2012, for discussion, which finally appeared on the agenda of the Planning Committee, only on Jan 15, 2013 - where the Planning Committee voted to receive the report with no further action taken."

see also; http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/869823--councillor-morelli-and-ward-muscle

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 18:50:36 in reply to Comment 85324

Wait...so what does that mean?

Heritage committee report was sent back for discussion, and it was received without discussion...

So...who's ball is the court in now?

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 19:50:22 in reply to Comment 85344

This article will expalin the time line;
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/869823--councillor-morelli-and-ward-muscle

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By Savesanford (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 10:44:36

Thank you Gary for taking this issue and making certain that both the school board and Bernie and other council members are exposed. It is outrageous that such a beautiful building would be destroyed for a soccer field. What I wonder why the voices that were screaming save the board if Ed building, Gore buildings and no to the casino are noticeably silent when it comes to Sanford?

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By Listen Up (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 12:57:11 in reply to Comment 85323

All the usual suspects have been braying to save this: Crawford, Butani, Santucci. Urbanicity rote a scathing article from Lawyer Michael P Clarke. The outcry is there.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 20, 2013 at 11:45:55

Considering how easily you accessed the interior of the school, I'm astonished it hasn't been demolished by vandals internally.

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By randomguy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 11:53:05

Who's downvoting all these comments? This whole story is very strange. Hopefully Tim Simmons gets voted out in the coming election.

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By Anony (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 11:55:34

The children sometimes play inside. The community respects this building.
More graffiti on Pinky then Sanford. They kids played there until 2 years ago.
I look forward to seeing how this is explained and how people react when they see
How it is very manageable shape. Estimated cost of demolition 300,000.
No one hasshown funding to backfill and landscape either.
Let's hope if given the opportunity council chooses to now step in and make this right.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 15:05:23 in reply to Comment 85328

What is the annual estimated operating cost of the building? I would bet not a sole here has bothered to investigate. If I was in favor of this I certainly would be investigating that. Unless of course some people know from prior experience that the operating cost for even a few years would greatly exceed $300K, the cost of demolition. If that was the case you might want to simply try and minimize the maintenance and repairs required the way GS has.

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 12:12:11

It's such a beautiful building, it's sad people have to fight to preserve it. I don't think the school board has the right to keep destroying.

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By Marion (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 12:33:44

For me the money quote is "All stairwells are of steel". Anyone know the current going rate for steel?

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 01:50:18 in reply to Comment 85330

Not that great for scrap. The money is in alloys, right now.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 14:10:30 in reply to Comment 85330

Paul Wilson article Nov 23 2012

http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/talk/story/2012/11/22/hamilton-demolition.html

"Sanford school is on the city’s list of historically important buildings. It is not designated, but certainly could be. It opened in 1932 as the Central High School of Commerce.

Depression-era Hamiltonians were in awe of the three-storey structure, with room for 1,600 students. It was the first building in the country of steel construction made with materials all manufactured in Canada.

In 1966, the school became Hamilton Collegiate Institute, which housed all of Hamilton’s lower-city Grade 13 students. And in 1985, the building became Sanford Avenue School for elementary kids.

In the beginning, it was Central High School of Commerce; later Hamilton Collegiate Institute, home to Grade 13s across the lower city.

They filed out two years ago, but the school remains a beauty. The terrazzo floors are unblemished. The brass railings are intact. Marble lines the high-ceilinged corridors. The hardwood floors are ready to shine again."

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By DollHouse (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 13:03:14

I've sent an email to my local councilman. I'm sure his desire is for the people of his ward and not wanton destruction. Lay the blame with school board. Eva Rothwell is a good example of how he feels about adaptive reuse. Gary will also attest to his support for The Pearl Company.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 17:16:12 in reply to Comment 85332

Quoted from the Jelly Blog

"On June 14th, 2006, Mayor Di Ianni, Councillors Bruckler, Collins, Jackson, Kelly, Merulla, Morelli, Mitchell, Pearson, Samson and Whitehead voted to demolish the Lister Block. Councillors Bratina, Braden, McCarthy and McHattie voted against. The Provincial Minister of Culture of the time, Caroline Di Cocco stepped in and informed Council they would be expected to convene a working group to explore all the options first before making this irreversible mistake. Thankfully this process was successful.

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 13:17:25 in reply to Comment 85332

I know that sometimes the issues are difficult to understand. Your confusion can be understood and forgiven.

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By Mainstreet (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 14:14:32

There are no profits for the developers if a building is saved.All those campaign dollars to assure a prompt and sly disposal means the flow of support dollars can continue unabated.If it comes down soon, all will be well and its buisiness as usual.We of course get screwed over with more sleaze as always

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By timsimmons (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 15:57:54

Break and enter or willful misrepresentation of source of photos?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 18:53:43 in reply to Comment 85339

It doesn't say Gary took the photos, it says that these photos have recently surfaced.

Maybe you took the photos and posted them online.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 16:12:36 in reply to Comment 85339

The door is clearly a ajar in one of the photos. At worst this is trespassing, not break and enter (a criminal offense).

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 16:06:00 in reply to Comment 85339

Maybe Paul Wilson can shed some light?

"They filed out two years ago, but the school remains a beauty. The terrazzo floors are unblemished. The brass railings are intact. Marble lines the high-ceilinged corridors. The hardwood floors are ready to shine again."

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 19:22:40

That would not be Tim Simmons talking so recklessly about charges would it?
I witnessed children in and out of that building on several occasions in fact I asked them to stop going inside.
Hazardous yet not Monitored. Hmmm which call shall I make first about those kids safety and whom shall I implicate Sir? Ofcourse that would mean I actually believed those ideas which I don't yet. Waiting for more info. Enjoy your Sunday.

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By busybee (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:27:27

Were told that we must follow the process.
But little do they know _ We ARE the process.
Keep up the good work.
Bravo!!!

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By dancer (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 12:04:54

Applause and Bravo to Gary Santucci and Mahesh Butani for caring enough for this city to stand up and fight agaisnt the old guard. Passionate people like Gary and Mahesh who take the time to write articles that inform the public of the wrongs that are happening behind closed doors. Knowledge is power. This city can once again prosper if we continue to expose the old guard that keep destroying this city.

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 17:17:06 in reply to Comment 85361

You’re right, dancer. These buildings are magnificent works of art that skilled craftsmen built with pride. We wouldn’t let someone put a match to the Mona Lisa, so why does Hamilton allow HWDSB to mindlessly, thoughtlessly destroy these beauties? (Class) clowns should not be in charge of a school board.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 18:33:54

It drives me crazy to think about all that building material going to waste. We tear all that stuff out of the ground, ruining landscapes. After all these years, it remains in excellent condition, and then we just waste it and turn it into clean fill. Disgusting.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 21:15:18

Hey guys. I had a chat with a relative this weekend, one who taught in the school, less than 5 years ago.

She had some interesting things to say about it. Like how the whole place is full of asbestos. Like the other nasty stuff in the walls and ceilings. Like how the bones of the school aren't sound. Like why they are not proceeding with restoration.

Is this demolition by neglect? Or is it that the cost to reuse outweighs the cost to raze? Sure, it looks nice, but take the nice pieces out, and use in a new school (adaptive reuse).

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 15:12:56 in reply to Comment 85372

Silence!!! You shall not speak of these things while others with no relevant credentials pronounce it pristine. I down vote you and shun you as a pariah until you drink the kool-aid of enlightenment.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 07:27:07 in reply to Comment 85372

If there is Asbestos in there it will have to be removed regardless of wether the building is demolished or refurbished. Of course knowing how the board respects the residents of the lower city I wouldn't be surprised if they just demo the place and let the asbestos blow around.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 01:52:32 in reply to Comment 85378

Ah, but the way you remove it is totally different. Your ridiculous comment aside, it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to remove asbestos when not worrying about the walls or ceilings than when attempting to remove and preserve.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 15:15:31 in reply to Comment 85413

Damn you and your "facts". If we collectively close our eyes and click the heels of our ruby slippers we can make Sanford into the jewel it is described as being now.

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By The guy your trolling (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 13:34:17 in reply to Comment 85413

So the asbestos which is now SO SO dangerous (that nothing can be done) was not dangerous 3 years ago when occupied by kids.

I spent a (lovely) summer removing asbestos insulation from Toronto Board of Ed Schools in 1984. There was a federal program paying for it. I guess somehow Hamilton missed out.

And no despite your assertion the way you remove it is pretty much the same. You just save on the refinishing when you demo.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 15:23:16 in reply to Comment 85436

No you are factually incorrect. Check the HWDSB 2009 Asbestos Inventory. Given the paths of the hydronic heating system there are pipes above drywalled and or finished ceilings and walls. Like the rest of these heating system pipes they will be wrapped in asbestos. If the ceilings and walls are being removed the asbestos can then be removed from these locations without the considerable expense of reconstruction. Nice summer job though pal.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 22:07:38 in reply to Comment 85436

It was dangerous then, when the school was open. But as you should know, asbestos becomes much more dangerous when disturbed than when undisturbed due to the particles getting into the air.

Like I've said before, while in high school in Dundas, my school had these lovely 'asbestos tents' in the halls where they were tarps running floor to ceiling while they were remediating the asbestos problem there. These tents were up for months and regularly were opened, pulled down, or ripped. It was, I guess, an occupational hazard at the time. It's the same there.

And yes, what I was getting at regarding remediation is that you can be more careless in the holes/walls removed for remediation as you don't have to worry aobut coivering it up, making it look nice, etc.

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By The guy your trolling (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 23:14:30 in reply to Comment 85458

Nice! So the hamilton board of Ed went to the trouble of removing the asbestos from your school in Dundas but not from Stanford School in the lower city. You have my friend, just proved my point about the Hamilton Board of Education having a chronic disregard for the health and safety of children in the lower city.
This was a federally funded project back in the day (1984 is the day right?). So they did the Dundas schools? but not the lower city schools? This was 'some else's money'. Since your so all knowing perhaps you have a good explaination as to why lower city schools were left as toxic waste dumps and your school in Dundas was improved?

Or are you now going to tell me that asbestos is only dangerous to children of parents that might complain.


The ultimate irony will be when it turns out 'your' school is the one in Dundas being converted to condos.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT 'DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT' YET.

In your own words you've proven that schools in better neighborhoods were maintained. And this is something that's been going on for almost 30 years.

Im really beginning to believe that the board of Ed is one of lower cities worst enemies.

As for your friends in the (all mighty) teachers union... perhaps it's time to think about the bigger good if you see asbestos COMPLAIN this is health and safety issue, not only for you but for your STUDENTS. But i guess just like extra curriculars this is now an issue for parents .

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 24, 2013 at 22:29:32 in reply to Comment 85465

My school was done about 10 years after your posted date. I can't comment on the why, this is pre-amalgamation, although the school boards were harmonized at that time. To tie that in to the anti-urban agenda is laughable.

I don't claim to be all knowing, just providing alternate insight into something. Did you go to high school in Dundas? Did you go to high school in Hamilton? Do you teach, or are related to someone who teaches in the downtown area?

By the way, I live in a building in the core, which almost certainly has asbestos in the walls - it's of the right vintage to have it, and I do have concerns about what it might do to me and my family.

Your faulty analogy that the 'burbs get it better than the central city is a joke. Any school made from, let's say, the 1920s to about the 1970s would have asbestos. It's more a matter of how it's been maintained. In our school it was triggered (if memory serves) because tiles started becoming unglued in the hall ceilings and falling down, which was stirring up the asbestos. A lot of the city's old schools have been neglected - there's several in Dundas, Westdale, and Ancaster that are the same as those in the core.

It's not all a conspiracy to see the downtown area fail while the burbs sit back and laugh.

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 22:02:08 in reply to Comment 85372

The environmental reports say no such things. We will be publishing a summary analysis with the documents available on-line. Anecdotal evidence serves no purpose at this time. Leave it alone until you see the facts.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 03, 2013 at 21:14:12 in reply to Comment 85375

That is an outright lie. The environmental reports state that asbestos floor coverings, ceiling tiles, heat shields and counter tops are found in a number of areas, especially in the lower levels and the boiler room.

The largest asbestos issue is with the piping used to conduct water through the heating system. The asbestos pipe wrap is in poor condition where it is visible and likely in similar condition where it is not visible. These asbestos wrapped pipes are found in every part of the building. Frequently they are concealed behind walls and above ceilings. You provided the link to these documents.

When you say "we will be publishing" you are obviously hoping people will not bother to read them but will wait for your "summary analysis". Some of the gullible may wait for your pronouncement of the "truth". I highly recommend people read these themselves. They will be shocked to discover the magnitude of your misrepresentation. There is a major asbestos problem at Sanford and there is a mold issue (severity undetermined). This is the most blatant case of disinformation (on the part of Gary Santucci) I have seen at the local level. What a disgrace to try and pass this off as some sort of expose.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 15:30:11 in reply to Comment 85375

The guy with the single line photo anecdotes does not want any one else using anecdotes to support opposing ideas.

I strongly urge people to thumb through the 2009 Asbestos Inventory of Sanford themselves. It clearly shows the magnitude of the issue. I am sure GS's summary analysis will be as meaningful as his stunning expose photos in this article. So unbiased too, I can't wait to see if this analysis is as rational.

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By AlHuizenga (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 16:52:35 in reply to Comment 85745

single line photo anecdotes

Hey, I love your brand new term for annotated photographic evidence! So wonderfully dismissive. Defense lawyers should pounce on this:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, make no mistake, the Prosecution is going to try to confuse you with its numerous single line photo anecdotes of the accused committing the murder..."

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 21:35:45 in reply to Comment 85746

That is hilarious, exactly what are GS's photos proof of? Am I forgetting that he is an accredited professional of some sort who is so succinct that his one line toss off's are pearls of wisdom? No he is not qualified to dismiss the work of industry professionals with that series of photos or anything he has uttered attached to them or otherwise.

"Here, see for your self how my selected images represent the whole". Anyone who has been in that school in the last twenty years who has several years of relevant construction experience knows otherwise.

Don't take my word for it if you or anyone else thinks his photos show evidence of anything but Santucci's ignorance or mendacity, go right ahead represent them as an expose. You and he will be laughing stocks.

He only reluctantly provided a link to the inspection documents he claims are incorrect. He discourages readers from them by offering to filter all their "anecdotal lab reports" and "anecdotal assessments" by qualified professionals into a distillation of his own.

I would advise anyone who really wants to know the truth about the condition of this building to read the reports themselves rather than have GS do their thinking for them. Personally I just can not abide this campaign of disinformation regardless of it's intent.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 01:46:42 in reply to Comment 85375

Sure, but for now in the absence of YOUR facts, I'll take the word of someone I know and trust who worked in the building, not someone who hasn't and admires how it looks.

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 07:09:48 in reply to Comment 85411

Sorry, the facts are from actual school board reports on lead and asbestos. Enviro-Core, the company hired to report on the conditions inside the building found moisture in the building as a result of open windows and a leak in the roof.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 23:02:49 in reply to Comment 85416

Incorrect, they acknowledged water entry from the broken windows and the roof.

You on the other hand fail to mention that "microbial growth was observed throughout the complex and was noticed by olfactory perception as well as visually". Lead paint is found in paint in several areas and is highly concentrated in window caulkings at Sanford.

Asbestos floor coverings, ceiling tiles, heat shields and counter tops are found in a number of areas, especially in the lower levels and the boiler room. The largest asbestos issue is with the piping used to conduct water through the heating system. The asbestos pipe wrap is in poor condition where it is visible and likely in similar condition where it is not visible behind finished walls and ceilings. In many ways it is the heating system that dooms the building as it is literally covered in asbestos and it requires a crew to operate and maintain. It is a case of damned if you do damned if you don't. Rip it and the asbestos out and face huge expense, maintain it and face huge operating costs.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 22:08:19 in reply to Comment 85416

Where are these reports? What is the scope of them? You keep claiming you'll provide them - where are they?

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2013 at 00:28:07 in reply to Comment 85459

My my aren't we impatient. Perhaps if you worked as hard as others in doing your own research you would have had them by now. Anyway here you go (whatever your name is)

http://metrohamilton.ning.com/profiles/blogs/toxic-minds-or-a-toxic-building-breach-of-trust-at-sanford-avenue

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 24, 2013 at 22:35:33 in reply to Comment 85468

So based on the article that Mahesh wrote that you reference, the asbestos report (which clearly says not to photocopy or distribute, but has been anyway) says the school is full of asbestos. In just about everything. That's not safe.

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By Anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 21:36:25

School teachers will be trying to protect the HWDSB choice just as the HWDSB protected or tried to protect and back the teachers during their difficult time with the Ministry. I can't fault anyone who chooses to try and protect them in their decision if they themselves have been misled. There is no information that shows issues with nasty stuff in the walls or ceilings or the bones of the school not being sound.
It's truely in great shape and even though it's been empty for 2 years it is still standing up very well. I'm sure there will be evidence to show that the HWDSB made up stories to support hazardous materials that really are not a risk to anyone any more than a homeowner would have living in a home with asbestos pipe wrap. If left undesturbed its a non issue and if you want to remediate it you certainly can. There are no apparent structural cracks or shifting of the building which would indicate a more major issue.
We have all been misled but we cannot continue to perpetuate them.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 03, 2013 at 10:14:46 in reply to Comment 85373

What planet are you living on? It was in awful shape 8-10 years ago and has only worsened since. It may have good bones WETF that means but it is riddled with asbestos and is now beginning to develop mold as well. Read the reports GS has given the link to. They contradict what he is saying.

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 22:07:36 in reply to Comment 85373

In addition I have received a report from Public Health for the City of Hamilton that verifies that the water supply remdediated and does not pose a health risk. To DowntownHamilton stay away unless you have the facts. This report will be published soon as well.

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 22:10:05 in reply to Comment 85376

Sorry that should read water supply was remediated. Sanford not only has great bones of steel but great skin as well.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 08:32:44

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 03, 2013 at 10:23:12 in reply to Comment 85380

defamatory comment deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2013-02-05 14:17:14

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2013 at 08:04:07 in reply to Comment 85777

You may want to take up your point with the School Board
as they, according to your logic, have knowingly exposed hundreds of students and scores of teachers to this harmful environment over the years. Perhaps you should also organize the parents for a class action lawsuit in this matter as well.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 01:34:45 in reply to Comment 85854

Gary, I think it might be me you were trying to respond to.

Asbestos is found in nearly every building who's construction dates from 1880-1980. In the 1970's the Canadian government was finally pressured into declaring asbestos a hazardous substance. They had resisted doing so for decades. No meaningful federal asbestos legislation has been passed since. This has allowed asbestos mining to continue up until this year when the last two Quebec mines collapsed financially after their Jean Charest $50M bailout dough ran out.

Few commercial, industrial or institutional property owners wanted to have to remove asbestos from their possessions. The Canadian government regardless of who is at the helm still insists asbestos can be used "safely". It is what their benefactors want and it saves governments at all levels the cost and inconvenience of removing a lot of asbestos from a large number of buildings.

Ontario law requires an "Asbestos Management Plan" be implemented in buildings such as Sanford. Asbestos in a friable condition is permitted to be encapsulated by wrapping it tightly and thoroughly with plastic wrap. Above plastered ceilings and in walls these pipes remain unseen for decades until a leak develops in an area that requires emergency attention. Typical procedure would be to remove only as much of the ceiling or wall as is required to repair the pipe and encapsulate a section of it. Floor to ceiling plastic would isolate the area and ducted fans used to create negative pressure to keep particles within the repair zone. This is the basic process that allows asbestos to remain in public and private buildings.

If I thought for a minute a class action law suit would have a snow balls chance in hell of winning I would gladly support it. Of course any person suffering from an asbestos related disease should consider the possibility exposure occurred in a school. Now if you are a developer do you want to take on a building containing asbestos? For a developer it is purely a financial decision but the presence of asbestos will play a major role in determining the cost to purchase or operate. This entire article is a disgrace Gary.

One or some of both of the following applies to you.

1.If you truly believe there are minimal hazards and only easily manageable repairs required then you have not read (with comprehension) the HWDSB inspections and reports you have linked to. In this case a fool has rushed in nearly totally unprepared.

2.You do understand that you are vastly understating the hazards and maintenance required. Perhaps cynically rationalizing this as using the same methods as the "other side".

My money is on a fool who rushed in who has probably managed to rationalize thus far but who will now be doing some very serious back pedaling when the number of miles of asbestos wrapped pipe is determined.

If you have been well intentioned but somewhat foolish do not be ashamed to admit it. Any person who claims to have never been a fool is a liar.

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 07:58:14 in reply to Comment 85906

Step out from behind your anonymity and have the courage to insult me with your real name.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 13:27:06 in reply to Comment 85908

I am registered here and I post under my name. You are the anonymous poster here though obviously you too are using your real name.

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By Borat (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 06:09:55 in reply to Comment 85906

" Now if you are a developer do you want to take on a building containing asbestos? For a developer it is purely a financial decision but the presence of asbestos will play a major role in determining the cost to purchase or operate."

What you do not seem to get is THERE ARE ALREADY DEVELOPERS IN HAMILTON WHO KNOW ABOUT THE ASBESTOS AND WANT TO BUY THIS BUILDING. Developers buy buildings with asbestos and have it abated ALL THE TIME. This building is not any different. It's a solid candidate for renovation, it just needs the school board to be willing to sell it to them instead of knock it down, when they will have to abate the asbestos anyway.

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By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted February 06, 2013 at 14:18:52 in reply to Comment 85907

I realize that but it greatly affects the purchase price and the terms of the purchase.

A developer may offer to purchase conditional on asbestos abatement. A developer may want to utilize the property without remediating the asbestos and other hazards. In this case responsibility for the environmental issues would fall back to HWDSB. Unless the details of which "developer" is "interested" and what they are proposing is known; it is impossible to know if the proposal is something the HWDSB would or should enter in to.

I am sure that a serious proposal would be of interest to the Board. If the price is at current market value, the buyer has the financial ability to close the sale and the sale will end the Boards environmental liability, they would be the corporate version of insane not to complete such a deal.

If you have proof that this has happened or is happening please enlighten me. So far I have only heard that unnamed "Developers" are "Interested". I have met a number of real estate "Investors" and "Developers" who have yet to purchase even a single property. These are the same types who bestow unto themselves the SELF DESCRIBED title of "Consultant" "Entrepreneur" or better yet "Philanthropist". Lots of people walk around making big noises about things they know very little about and hide behind self described titles backed by zero credentials and very damn little cash.
You people are trying to save a building. That is fine with me, good for you I wish you luck. What I strongly object to is the way Gary Santucci has minimized and distorted the condition of the building. The ends may be wonderful but it is wrong to intentionally mislead people especially when the majority of the people who read this publication are allies. You are misleading the very people who are likely to support this issue. I think it is the worst kind of manipulation. I am not talking about a little spin here and there or oops your bias is showing. It is an outright misrepresentation and I loathe that regardless of its possibly good intentions.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2013 at 06:17:31 in reply to Comment 85922

Chris, you need to moderate your intemperate commentary. I have already had to remove one comment because it crossed a legal line into defamation of character, and your other comments skate to the edge of that line. You can disagree with Gary's assessment of the school without accusing him of malfeasance or speculating about his motivations.

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 08:40:41 in reply to Comment 85380

Interesting point of view Conrad666. The facts speak for themselves. The City Government doesn't need me to make them look bad, as you state.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 13:35:38 in reply to Comment 85382

Gary ... that was not me that stated that comment someone is playing games with sreen name

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 13:41:38 in reply to Comment 85437

Thanks for clarifying

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By Build New (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 08:38:37

Tear it down - it's an eye sore and a relic - the elephant will sit a long time like the Connaught has for years -

Tear it down and let someone build something new and glorious which will positively impact the area...NEW NEW NEW

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By GO GO (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 11:03:50 in reply to Comment 85381

Yup, nothing like a new mud pit to revitalize the neighbourhood. Great idea! *sarcasm*

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 08:42:08 in reply to Comment 85381

Like what a patch of dirt!

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By Palisade (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 08:56:06

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 09:46:58 in reply to Comment 85384

Haters gonna hate...

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 09:05:01 in reply to Comment 85384

We have our Fire Code Certificate and an operational sprinkler system throughout the entire building. You may also refer to a previous article here on Raise the Hammer that documents a court ruling by Justice Casey that states that the City did not present evidence to support its case against us.

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By WardTrois (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 13:27:54

The Pearl Company, Rebels Rock are the type of developers we need. Give me a break about this. I visited Hamilton 2 years ago and stayed at a backpackers on Victoria Ave. The host recommended The Pearl company for entertainment. I loved it so much my partner and relocated to Hamilton. We were going to stay at the hostel, but were told it was shut down. I later learned the pearl has had similar struggles. Hamilton you NEED art venues, pubs, music venues, hostels, galleries coffee shops, book stores. When I heard the hostel shut down I was almost ready to pull up stakes. Someone please help.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 15:03:44 in reply to Comment 85394

FYI, the hostel is alive and well in an even better location. The good guys win the odd one, even in Hamilton.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 22, 2013 at 18:37:23

This article titled "Here's the school they didn't tear down" by Paul Wilson on the CBC Hamilton website focuses on the condo development at the former Dundas District High School but also makes passing reference to Sanford Avenue School and Delta Secondary School: http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/talk/story/20...

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By AmenHotep (anonymous) | Posted January 23, 2013 at 05:04:23

Wouldn't it be awful if all this were true? 

As one Trustee put it, " I'm getting a little tired of these handshake deals."
The process wasn't just neglected it was sabotaged!  
Ample opportunity to make it right and no one has stepped up. Not the city, school board nor the Ministry of education.

We come from a code red neighborhood so no one cares to hear our cry!

We won't just sit back and watch while people play politics with our heritage be it Sanford or in the gore , shaking hands and selling the public out at every turn. 

Covering for one another as you've done so many times before.#Shame on everyone of you who continue with your lies and deceit. 

What are you hiding, what are you not telling your people?

 'Just drop it.'

 What is that all about? 

We have given you the opportunity to rectify it and you so arrogantly continue on your course. 

This will be your undoing. This will be your watergate.
This time you are selling out the children. The poorest children in the entire city. 

I hope you are ill with regret and guilt. You deserve it after putting this community in such a state. 

Hundreds of hours by a team of people uncovering the multifaceted layers of bulls$@t that is your governing, stacked neatly in a pile of data you assumed we would not look through or perhaps you simply underestimate the strength of the resolve and the intelligence in this city.

 Or was it just because of our geographic location and #proximity which is more than evident that it is easily sacrificed for a few quick bucks.

We approached you time after time in good faith often with no response at all. We approached you again and you refused to engage unless forced to by immense pressures.

You create your own scandals, very handily I might add. 

For those of you who are along for the ride, it is time to get off and stand up for the people of your city and for our process. 

After all it was designed to protect us from this very thing.

Come forward now and show us that your role was not as a willing participant.

This is not acceptable in a Democratic government.

Know this, if you knock these buildings down before the process is reviewed it will be the biggest shame of your career!  Stealing from the poorest children in the entire city. 

Claiming Sanford contaminated by airborne asbestos and lead and more. We know the walls are not rusting, as you said they were Mr Engineer at Wever school meeting.

Again, shame on you. Disgusting and Vile.

And you think we believe you have our interests in mind for a casino?
Will you vote YES to a casino, stick it in our core and then say, we wanted it in Flamborough but we didn't realize they can put it anywhere. You play stupid with our money.

Spending our money on a stadium that actually gives us less than what we otherwise had. No one can trust you. Not one of you. You cannot say you didn't know, you can say only that you did not care enough to know.  It's all in writing every piece.

Your RFP's, contracts and handshake deals with 'trusted' friends are sad to say the least.

We can't even have a snow crew that removes snow in this city. 

Our road staff have become a mirror of yourselves.

Heritage committee that hasn't designated 1 building and Transparency committee with no public agenda and hasn't accomplished anything around a lobby registry since starting in 2007.

Your zoning and planning punish good people who believe in the dream and the possibility of being part of the solution. A dream that you sell and then rip out of our hands. 

Take them to court and flog them publicly so that everyone will see that we are not open for business!
Make exception for the rich and difficulties for the poor.

Your passion for parking is disgusting and holds us back as a community. 

Restaurants to stand and eat in...what are we pigs at a trough?
Who stands to eat a meal?

Your toxic waste sites that you allow to move from corner to corner and forgive time and time again.  

Handing money and grants to people who deserve less than the time of day!

Look the other way as your residents continue to struggle for breathe covered in toxic dust. Let it be accepted they are only the poor.

Making two way roads to accommodate one rather than all. Oh so convenient ward 3 roads just missed out on conversion not in on EA.

What a wonderful job you have all done this term! Big pats on your backs. Cheers all around. 
Fighting over your chair and your station in life.

 How Far up the political ladder will you go?

Think on this and realize that you cannot fool your people. We are uprising because you cause us to.
It is time. 
We the people and children of Hamilton demand better and we demand truth and transparency!
 We have told you this and you would not listen.

What if the boilers actually are working inside of Sanford Avenue School?

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By bvb borussia (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2013 at 16:54:09 in reply to Comment 85415

Wow...stream of consciousness

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By Some finally speaks truth (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2013 at 12:43:03

Now THAT is the best commentary of truth I've seen in a very long time.

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By AMENHOTEP (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2013 at 22:32:20

So PanAm has cost us Sanford! A perfectly beautiful structure. See recommendations
Under our area of the city. We didnt just loose seats, parking and future funds we lost Sanford School home
To 700-900 children after school programs.
Councillors afraid to link it to PanAm maybe?
I'll do it for you.
http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/36E454FA-454E-49E5-B9F9-D914FF883F2B/0/OutdoorRecreationStudy.pdf
Let's talk process, consultations!

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 08:25:38

This article titled "White Star proposes eight-storey building for King and Sanford" by Denise Davy was posted on CBC Hamilton today: http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/20...

Mr. Rakovac, the owner of White Star, cites the expansion of GO service and the possibility of LRT in Hamilton as catalysts for his condo proposal at King and Sanford. Given that Sanford Avenue School is only a block or two north of the site of the proposed White Star project, one could make the case that expanded GO service and possible LRT are also catalysts to adapt the school for residential use.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2013-01-25 08:26:30

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By GOGo (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 08:58:12 in reply to Comment 85496

They are rentals not condos. And why anyone would move all the way from Toronto to rent(nowhere near GO) and commute all the way back to Toronto is beyond me.

“A key factor for us is the GO station, because it will push up the demand. You hear of people wanting to move here from Toronto but they don’t want to fight the traffic. When the GO station goes in, it will change all that,” said Rakovac"

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By Margaret (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 20:46:28

How quickly have we forgotten that highly praised rebuild of the lister block?The owners of that building deliberatly created eyesore in the heart of our city ,played the weak mayor and equally weak clr.,that rebuild cost us millions and look what we got-another empty shell.Do we want a replay of that highly praised scam?wake up Ward 3 and knock it down.

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By dntnr (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2013 at 11:27:33 in reply to Comment 85612

Clearly people who call a beautiful old building "relic", "eyesore", "wreck" ... don't have an appreciation for such beauty, quality, history, and

Curious whether they even live downtown.

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By sorespot (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2013 at 07:39:48 in reply to Comment 85612

If the city got off its butt and selected tenants for the Lister from the applicants, it would help!

Truth time: Those who control the construction industry in Hamilton just don't have the respect for heritage nor the skills for adaptive reuse of historical buildings.

Time for Hamilton's 'Charbonneau' inquiry?

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By Joanna (anonymous) | Posted March 04, 2013 at 19:46:05

Chris Angel,
Are you aware that with all that asbestos, lead etc that neither the city of the schoolboard made the Ministry of Environment aware of the Sanford demolition. I have an email from the Ward Councillor assuring me that they will work closely with the Ministry of Environment as they have with past demolitions and that I could rest assured.
Only days before the demolition began I contacted the Ministey of Environment's officer Joe Magigic who had no information that any demolition was taking place. I then contacted the Ministry of labour to make them aware of the hazardous materials that demolition workers may be exposed to.
I had quite a bit of back and forth with Joe Magegic who sympathized with my concern as he stated to me that he was having great difficulty gaining access to information on the Sanford school demolition.
Finally he opened the file both labour and Enviro ministry became involved but guess who had to make it happen?
Rest assured it was not the Ward Councillor, the chief building officer, the HWDSB or the firm that was hired to demolish the school. It was me. A resident not living in the immediate neighborhood but one who still gives a damn about fairness! Now with that being said and all the materials you claim are inside do you really feel the HWDSB is trying to do the right thing, for the children, neighbors etc?

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By Mimmo (anonymous) | Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:40:40

I went to that school in the early 80's when it was HCI grade 13. It was used years later as an elementary school as well. Lead and asbestos has been known to be a health and safety hazard for many years before that yet the school board continued to operate that school. They must have known there was asbestos and lead contaminates there yet never warned the students at the time. Looks to me like they have set themselves up for a lawsuit on behalf of all former students who attended those schools from any time after the date that the school board knew there was a problem there. I can not believe that the problem was only identified and used as an excuse to tear it down.

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By Samantha M (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2013 at 23:11:49

I'm not here to give an informed opinion of it being sold, tore down, or what not, but I went to this school a few early grades. I am now 22, but I do remember it having a lot of problems. Ceilings leaking, stair ways being blocked off, a lot of pluming problems, the floors were worn out and warped, the basement looked like it was going to caved in. Those are just a few of the major things I can remember. But a lot of great memories there. I also went to Tweedsmuir and that place had full stairwells and hallways caved in and blocked off WHILE we were still going there.. wow. But again, great memories.

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