The Simcoe County District School Board this week decides whether to accept a Barrie City Hall proposal, in an effort to build a new high school in the city. The proposal involves both sides bringing in an arbitrator to help smooth out some issues, a proposal handed down by Councillor Mike McCann. He has since written an open letter to the school board, which we’ve posted below.
Barrie City Council has unanimously passed a motion to show our intention to get a new secondary school built in the southwest end of the city as soon as possible. This motion requesting binding arbitration is the fastest possible solution. This week I call on the Simcoe County School Board to also support this initiative.
The reasons for new secondary school are clear. There are also a number of reasons on why Barrie needs it sooner than later, some of which include:
· In the current situation students will spend their high school experience in portables
· Travel time to and from a further school negatively affects family life.
· Limited access to after school programs and sports.
· Moving from school to school and in and out of portables is disruptive to children’s educational flow
· Added congestion in our already gridlocked south end as parents and students drive to their temporary school
· Limited parking at Innisdale, putting pressure on students, faculty and neighbouring community programs at Allandale Rec Centre
Through years of planning, legislative direction and resident consultations we have decided the make up of Barrie is to be smaller and inclusive communities. I place where a family can live, work and play. This is why a properly located secondary school is imperative to the Prince William Way and Mapleview neighbourhood.
To seek a quick resolution I have offered to sit down with all School Board Trustees and discuss the issue. This includes what the City is prepared to offer them to relieve them of financial costs. For example, a shared library and maintenance on the sports fields. Unfortunately, as of today (January 4 2016) – I have not been contacted
I FEAR the School Board is not interested in doing what’s best for the community only sticking to their plan that they made up a year ago. This plan that contradicts the City of Barrie growth plan that has been available for five years.
I hope my fear does come true. I hope the students of Barrie get their much needed secondary school. I hope that this week the Simcoe County School Board Trustees do the right thing and support my City approved motion of binding arbitration.