| Oct 15, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - October 16, 2009 Staff response to PARC report delayedBy Jeff Green

The response from senior staff at the Limestone District School Board to the Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) recommendations for the future of the Sharbot Lake family of schools will not be released until November.

The staff report was initially expected to be brought forward at a meeting of the school enrolment/capacity committee of the board on October 5 at the school board offices in Kingston, but that meeting was cancelled.

A message on the board’s website says, “It is expected that the Senior Staff Report will be presented at a School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee meeting in early November. Date to be announced.”

On the site calendar, November 17 is set aside for a public meeting of the committee in Sharbot Lake.

But, in the words of Ruth Bailey, the facilitator to the PARC process, “even that November 17 date is tentative at this point.”

According to Bailey, The delay in the staff response is due to issues around the projected cost of the new school and the amount of money that the Province has committed for it.

“When we looked closely at the Architects preliminary costing, and at the amount of money that was committed by the Ministry, we saw a problem,” Bailey said.

Board staff are seeking changes from the architect and will be meeting with the ministry, hopefully later this month, to try and get solid information and a funding commitment that will enable them to build a new school.

Bailey said the staff report will go to a committee meeting at the Board office in Kingston, hopefully in early November, before being presented to a public meeting.

The PARC report, which was prepared by a committee that included parent and staff representatives from the five affected schools (Hinchinbrooke – Parham, Land O'Lakes – Mountain Grove, Clarendon Central – Plevna, and Sharbot Lake Public and High School) called for Clarendon Central and Land O'Lakes Schools to remain open. The student population from the three other schools would be served by a new comprehensive (Kindergarten to grade 12) school to be built at the “Sharbot Lake High School site, or another suitable site” in the words of the PARC report, with the primary students and the secondary students housed in separate wings or separate buildings.

In June, the Ministry of Education committed up to $13 million towards a new school to serve the region, but the actual grant will vary depending on the projected enrolment of any new school.

Using calculations provided by the board, the PARC report recommendations would result in a new building that would cost $10.9 million to construct, and the provincial grant would total about $7.5 million.

The PARC report was received by the board on September 14 without comment.

Once the senior staff report is completed, a final decision will be made by the Board of Trustees of the Limestone Board, probably late in 2009 or early in 2010.

(Check the News in the coming weeks for confirmation and details about the November meeting)

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