Adrian O'Connell | Sep 21, 2016

Re. Mr Kent Labbett's comments (Re: CF schools purchase, Sept. 15) about a letter by Mr. Wayne Robinson (Re: CF Schools Purchase, Sept. 8) with respect to Central Frontenac's purchase of the school properties. Councillors rarely base decisions on purely short term criteria as many businesses and corporations do, and our councillors are to be commended for this.

The condition of buildings on any given site should be only one factor in their decision. Most public buildings are in prime locations and the sites themselves are usually of far greater importance. Given the obsolete infrastructure of many older buildings and their high energy needs, it is often more economical to demolish and rebuild as was the case with the high school in Sharbot Lake. Furthermore, as energy costs increase, it will be harder to justify the preservation of older public buildings except on the basis of heritage or architectural considerations.

Our councillors have acted responsibly in acquiring these properties because we may need them in the future. Former school sites can lend themselves to retirement facilities, community and health centres and a variety of other socially needed amenities. These needs may not be apparent for some time. In the meantime, such sites tend to evaluate over time and are, therefore, valuable financial assets on the council's books until such time as they can be put to use for the common good.

Congratulations once again to our councillors for thinking about the future, possibly unknown, needs of the community, rather than bowing to pressure from advocates of a short sighted strategy which aims to transfer public wealth and capital to private hands with great long term social costs.

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