Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Barrie designates school destined for closure

The Examiner had a followup story on the city council discussion and decision to designate Prince of Wales, a downtown school, as a municipal heritage property.
Some downtown councillors want the school to remain open despite a Simcoe County District School Board decision it is to close at the end of the 2009-10 year. I liked this snippet best:
Toronto lawyer Brad Teichman, representing the Simcoe County District School Board, said there was no basis for putting the century-old school on the heritage registry. He noted there was no staff report explaining the heritage aspects of the building.
"So there has to be some other reason," Teichman said. "I understand the city wants to keep the school open to revitalize the Barrie city centre (downtown area). It's not a rationale for designating the building or placing it on the heritage registry."
Mayor Dave Aspden replied the school was the city's first, built by the town some 125 years ago.
None of which provides much reason, in my opinion, to proceed with this designation NOW. Council has had years to do this, and years to find funding to support it. It's doing it now, after the trustee vote, because it doesn't want the school to close.