Sunday, June 21, 2009

St. Thomas portables

The Times-Journal posted a story Saturday regarding the city's failure to act on allowing the installation of two portables at the brand-spanking-new Mitch Hepburn Public School, which opened to students in October.
First, this sort of growth is not unexpected-- proper planning of new schools and expansions could still mean portables over the short term, to accommodate a bulge in student population after the new / renewed facility opens. However, if there are still portables there in five years, then that's a sign the school should have been built larger to begin with.
The city's need to control portable placement is mind-boggling.
The piece also provides a brief synopsis of the outstanding amount of change in facilities taking place in the City of St. Thomas. Long neglected by its predecessor boards, it's been up to the London District Catholic and Thames Valley District school boards to finally bring students the modern, safe, up-to-date facilities they deserve some 10 years after amalgamation. It showed how much the old boards, too hampered by a lack of rich industrial and commercial tax assessment or too gun-shy to raise the levy, took that out on their facilities.
Mitch Hepburn was the TV board's first new school in its 10-year existence. Once the new John Wise, the refurb'ed Pierre Elliott Trudeau French Immersion (currently Homedale) and the new St. Anne's are all open in the coming year, a sizable portion of the local student population will be in the most modern schools available today. The boards and the community of St. Thomas should be commended for their patience.