Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snowy day capital roundup

As the snow falls in southern Ontario, here's what's crossed the desk in capital-related matters over the past few days. There was a browser-tab-history related crash that has produced a gap since the last capital update-- I had a number of things I wanted to link here that I had tabbed and then disappeared into the ether.
Anyway, here they are:
The Barrie stuff is interesting. I'd be curious to see if trustees bite on a timeframe-style recommendation. It appears strikingly similar to the Niagara District Secondary School proposal where the community was given time to increase student population, but it's not when you scratch beneath the surface. There's explicit instruction to seek partnerships under the relatively new partnerships guidelines to both become a part of the school facility and contribute to renos or a rebuild. The partnership language appears again when it comes to the south-Barrie high school meant to bring a school closer to that booming part of the city and region.
Will trustees go for it? If they do, will it work? A lot rides on how Barrie's city council responds and if council lives up to the chatter of wanting to preserve a high-school presence in the core then here's the opportunity to put some dollars behind that.
On a related sidenote, I lunched with Annie Kidder this week and we touched on accommodation reviews. We may have disagreed on whether the process is ultimately flawed at its core, though we agreed on its biggest problem: A misunderstanding of what the school-review process is supposed to accomplish. It's not meant to find *the* solution, it's meant to provide a recommendation that is different than what the board comes up with and, most importantly, different than the status quo.

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