Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake council has maintained its stance in zoning a plot of land targeted for new elementary school in Virgil, zoning it residential. Its committee of adjustment has rejected a severance application from the existing landowner so the board can buy the land. The board has appealed the denied severance to the Ontario Municipal Board. Councillors are openly admitting, implied in commentary, they're stiffing the District School Board of Niagara because of trustees' decision on Niagara District Secondary School.
Coun. Andrea Kaiser said the eight- acre site in Virgil is needed for residential development and pointed out that the NDSS site is already zoned institutional.The community is speaking out on this one as well-- head on over to the main site to see a snippet of what it is encouraging people to do: tell council to back down and give these students a new school.
“This community was misled and taken down a garden path,” Coun. Gary Zalepa said regarding the process followed by the school board that resulted in a recommendation to close the high school in 2010 if enrolment does not reach 350 students by October this year. The school is about 100 students short.
Councillors Jack Lowrey and Art Viola voted against residential zoning for the proposed new elementary school site.
“We have a chance for an elementary school in Virgil,” Lowrey said. “Are we going to keep making the students in Virgil wait for accommodation?”