As we note on our main redevelopment page, there are two main factors driving the redevelopment process now underway for the Davisville school site: The growing enrollment that our existing school building cannot serve and the growing maintenance backlog, which would be very expensive and disruptive to address.
To place the redevelopment situation in more context, there are a few realities that the Toronto District School Board is currently dealing with:
- The Board needs much more money for capital projects than it currently has available, so in the past few years many projects, including major maintenance at schools throughout the TDSB, have been delayed
- The Province of Ontario’s funding formula has played a role in this problem, as it provides capital funding based on average enrollment across the entire city
- This averaging does not serve the needs of Toronto well because it does not consider that there are some areas of Toronto with substantial growth in enrollment, while other areas have substantial decline
- Both building and closing schools takes time, but areas that need more school capacity built cannot wait for the average enrollment across the city to fall in line with the provincial formula
There are also considerations in regard to enrollment pressures that make redeveloping the Davisville school site worth considering:
- The student population in the Davisville area is growing and the school does not have the room to house the expected growth, so additional school capacity is needed at Davisville
- Student populations in all neighbourhoods surrounding Davisville are also growing and those schools are also full or already over capacity, so there is no other school that can accommodate growth in the Davisville school population. In other words, redrawing boundaries will not fix this capacity problem
Here is some additional context on our school site:
- The Davisville school site is a large piece of land, very close to a subway station, which means the school land has substantial value
- The western edge of the school property borders land along Yonge St. This may be another factor that makes a redevelopment project possible financially
- Selling part of the current school property is expected to pay the cost of building a new school and playground on the current Davisville school site, which makes a new school not just necessary due to enrollment growth, but also fiscally responsible
Other significant factors in the process are the age of the existing building and the high operating costs of the current building. The time is coming for major renovation or replacement of the current building. A new building would cost substantially less to operate than the current one, which makes it financially responsible to redevelop sooner than would happen based solely on the age and condition of the building.
Please note as well that the Toronto District School Board has committed to keeping a school on the Davisville site.
During the 2009-2010 school year, the TDSB conducted an Accommodation Review Committee process in the Davisville-Yonge area. The ARC process examined the needs and facilities available at our school as well as at Eglinton Junior Public School, Hodgson Senior Public School, Maurice Cody Junior Public School and Spectrum Alternative Senior School, which was located in the Eglinton Jr PS school building at the time of the ARC process. Spectrum was relocated to the Davisville school building, beginning classes in the Davisville building in September 2011.
We have more information on the ARC process and the results of it, on our Davisville-Yonge ARC page.