Comment 73822

By Zephyr (registered) | Posted February 07, 2012 at 12:08:56

My letter: To decision-makers re: the future of the Hamilton BoE building,

It is usually better to adapt and re-use the architectural heritage that we have been given. It represents our history, provides visually interesting streetscapes and, of course, avoids huge capital costs. Hamilton is gifted with wonderfully intact streetscapes that give this city real character and it is wonderful to watch interesting buildings slowly come back to life through the hard work of many residents of this city. Witness the excitement that the restoration of the Lister Block has brought – it is being seen as a symbol of the resurrection of Hamilton’s downtown core. My husband and I have personally renovated a century-old brick building in Hamilton’s North End – painting the original trim, repointing each and every brick by hand, redoing the foundation. Its now lovely, energy-efficient, and sound.

I have seen photos of the Board of Education building interior. There is much beauty and character there. There is greenspace around the building. I do not understand or support the plan to tear down this lovely historical building that was gifted to the Board of Education by the taxpayers of Hamilton. I do not understand why we would want the Board to move out of Hamilton’s downtown core, the heart of this city, to a distant suburb. What about the large numbers of lower income Hamilton families and their access to BoE resources? Also what about the state of disrepair of so many of Hamilton’s downtown schools? I recently visited Benetto as I need to register my little one for pre-kindergarten – and was shocked to see how dark, dingy and uninviting this school is. So why are we proposing to build a shiny new building for Board of Education employees while many of the city’s children spend their days in sub-standard buildings?

As a taxpayer and a mother who has chosen to live in Hamilton’s downtown, I do not support moving essential government services out of our downtown core. I do support a creative solution that will allow both the Board of Education and McMaster to occupy the downtown location. I understand that there are already footings in place for expansion of the BoE building – I support exploring this option further, and commend my councillor, Jason Farr, for bringing this matter to the attention of the residents of Hamilton.

I ask you to reconsider the options for the BoE building and come up with a creative solution that will inspire this city.

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