Jeff Green | Aug 13, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - August 13, 2009 Sharbot Lake PARC completes its workBy Jeff Green
After almost eight months of meetings, the 28 representatives from five schools in North and Central Frontenac townships have finally completed their assignment.
The Limestone District School Board's Program and Accommodation Review Committee for the Sharbot Lake Family of Schools held their final meeting at Sharbot Lake High School on August 11.
In the end, they approved the same recommendations that they brought to public meetings back in June, and were set to approve in early July.
At that meeting, an impassioned plea by Lesley Pickard in favour of locating a new school in Parham led supporters of the new school being located in Sharbot Lake to ask for information about the bussing implications of a Parham school, and for time to prepare a response.
Steve Wowk, the CEO of Tri-Board Student Transportation Services, presented a report on the impact of the Parham vs. the Sharbot Lake option, and he concluded that the total cost of transportation would increase by $113,800 under that scenario.
He concluded his report by saying the Parham location for a K-12 school “would be the least favourable from a transportation aspect. It would cause the largest increase in ride times and create disruption to the majority of families in the area.”
Cheryl Armstrong, the chair of the parent council at Sharbot Lake Intermediate School, then made a presentation. She said that when Central and North Frontenac are considered, “Sharbot Lake is the most central location for a school. It was like that 60 years ago when the high school was built and it is like that today.”
She also talked of the advantages of Sharbot Lake in terms of co-opportunities because of the businesses and services located there, the fact that the school board owns 13 acres at the site, and the advantages in terms of bussing. “I did not consider the disadvantages of locating a school in Sharbot Lake because there are none,” she concluded.
With the pro-Sharbot Lake intervention now on the record, along with Lesley Pickard's presentation in favour of Parham from the July meeting, the group was content to submit the following recommendation to the board of trustees:
Close Sharbot Lake PS, Hinchinbrooke PS, Sharbot Lake IS/HS and relocate the students, as appropriate for bussing purposes, to Prince Charles PS and to a new K-12 school on the Sharbot Lake IS/HS site or another appropriate site. Maintain Land O’Lakes P.S. and Clarendon P.S. The K-12 building should be designed to separate the elementary students from the secondary students.
This recommendation, along with all supporting documentation (a package that will be several hundred pages in size) will be completed and presented to the board later this month.
A report by senior board staff will also be presented to the board sometime in the early fall, and both reports will be presented to the public sometime in October.
It is anticipated the Board of Trustees will make a final decision in January of 2010.
Construction of a new school, for which funding has been secured from the Ministry of Education, is likely to commence in the spring of 2011, with the new school opening in September of that year.