Early on in the Wilson Report is the sentence, “The capital renewal backlog – that is, replacement and repair in all schools, but especially the 450 schools which are over forty years old – is over $3 billion.”
Reading that, you might think that the author is going to realistically address this serious problem. Yet the next mention is not until near the end of the report. On page 28, Ms. Wilson begins a section called “Management of Capital” with, “One of the major difficulties facing the Board is its management of, or rather failure to manage, capital assets…”. Her solution? Consolidate, close and sell schools.
Ms. Wilson completely ignores the fact that there are high growth areas of Toronto that need new school spaces now. And that there are realistic, non-tax ways of funding these badly needed spaces.
The Building and Land Use Committee was set up by School Council to give our school community a way to advocate for the needs of our growing school community.
Join us for our next meeting:
Tuesday, February 10 at 7:00 PM
Music Room – Main Floor
Back central doors off the playground (door 4)
For the past five years, parents, community members, TDSB staff and our elected representatives – including Trustee Shelley Laskin, City Councillor Josh Matlow and our Provincial MPP Eric Hoskins – have been involved in an effort to plan the future of our school.
During this time, Davisville became one of eight priority projects across the entire TDSB. These were submitted to the Ministry of Education for their review and approval in December of 2012. Since then, our enrollment has continued to grow, as has the maintenance backlog of large, expensive and vital items – such as our school’s heating system.
We were very disappointed to see, in a late March announcement from the Ontario Ministry of Education, that Davisville has not currently been approved for a new school. We have been given no rationale for this decision, however it comes in the context of Toronto’s needs being largely ignored by the province.
Out of the $700 million in provincial funding announced, the TDSB only received $11.9 million to be used specifically on only 1 of its 6 approved projects.
The Chair of the TDSB, Chris Bolton, said, “Toronto is the fastest growing municipality in all of Ontario… We should be getting our fair share of provincial funding.”
Hundreds of hours of volunteer time have been donated by dedicated volunteers to discuss, prioritize and communicate our fast-growing community’s needs, particularly during the Davisville-Yonge ARC of 2009-2010 and the TDSB’s Local School and Community Design Team process of 2011-2012. The need for a new school is clear to the TDSB, which is why Davisville is one of only eight priority projects identified by the Board and submitted to the Ministry.
Trustee Shelley Laskin will be attending our school council meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, April 8) at 6:45 PM in the gym to share the latest information she has about the situation and to discuss next steps for our community. Babysitting will be provided and all Davisville parents are welcome to attend.