Comment 93073

By Jay Robb (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2013 at 16:11:59

Nothing but tough calls and unpopular decisions here for HWDSB in the face of falling enrolments and fiscal constraint.

Most of the schools up for review were built when our grandparents and parents were having lots of kids. We're not. And Hamilton's population growth lags other communities in the GTHA.

Too many seats, not enough students. Suspect the only way to fill these schools is to turn them into retirement communities for the Boomers who once went there as students 60+ years ago.

It would help the discussion if we knew the annual cost of running each school (salaries & benefits plus utilities and maintenance) and the cost per pupil. Would also like to see the deferred maintenance bill for all schools.

I was a little stunned and embarassed at the state of disrepair at the school where one of our kids now attend. Not exactly an inspiring place to learn or work. In need of major renovations and a new coat of paint. I'm all for building schools that are designed and wired for 21st century learning and send a message to kids that they're worth the investment.

Not sure if there'd be much support from parents to have mixed use schools, with private and public sector businesses sharing space with their kids. Would be significant liability issues.

In hindsight, maybe the HWDSB and the city could have collaborated, taken the long view and strategically mapped out where they'd like new schools to be built and given timelines. If we're serious about intensification and revitalizing the lower city, building the newest and best schools in the core would likely attract young families and parents-to-be. Build the best schools and the parents will follow. Proximity to great schools tops the list when parents are looking to make one of life's biggest investments.

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