SCDSB puts GA Wright Field in play for Banting rebuild
Brian Jeffs, Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) Superintendent
of Business and Facilities said last night if the Ministry of Education
announces money for a new Banting Memorial High School (BMHS) early in
the new year, it will be built on GA Wright
"In the event we do receive funding in January or February for a
replacement school, we need to make a decision about location," Mr.
Jeffs told council. "My
feeling at this point, in the absence of a hub partner, GA Wright
becomes the most preferred location for construction of a new school."
Mr. Jeffs said they haven't abandoned the community hub concept and/or
Banting homestead as a site option, but are preparing for a scenario
without it. He said Georgian College remains interested in a
partnership, but will "wait and engage in a more indepth
conversation once we receive funding for a new school."
"We've had ongoing discussions and conversations with a group of
interested hub partners for the past 15 months. These conversations
have been productive and helpful in establishing the latest business
case that the school board submitted to the Ministry as part of our
capital priroties submission on Sept 8th," said Mr. Jeffs. "Its been
our belief all along
that the most opportune case for a BMHS replacement school had to
include a community hub - with the Town of New Tecumseth, Simcoe
Muskoka YMCA, and
Georgian College at the table for the 15 month period."
He said if the Board is passed over, it's expected to be at least a
year before the next round of capital priorities submissions because of
the provincial, municipal, and school board elections in 2018.
"Given the likely need for a lead hub partner in order to get funding
for a replacement school, I've come to the conclusion this council is
not likely to commit on a hub facility, and that decision will be left
to a new council in a year's time or longer. And given the timing of
next municipal election next fall, making such a community
commitment an election issue, isn't in anyone's best interest."