Archives for: November 2007

11/28/07

Permalink 08:38:58 pm, by mleslie Email , 185 words, 215 views   English (CA)
Categories: Toronto updates

TDSB creates new Toronto Lands Corporation

The Toronto District School Board is plagued by both declining enrollment, and surplus space that requires extensive maintenance and renewal. In February 2007, the TDSB instructed the Director of Education to come up with a plan to manage, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of surplus property. And in June 2007, the TDSB told the Director and a 5 trustee working group to go ahead and make plans for a TDSB subsidiary that would do just that. On September 25th, approval for a "Toronto Lands Corporation" was given by the Board. The Chair is David Crombie. The President and CEO is Dino Chiesa. Four trustees sit as directors: Irene Atkinson, John Campbell, Michael Coteau and Bruce Davis. There is a search going on for 5 directors from the private sector.

The Ontario Ministry of Education has been consulted throughout the process. The TDSB hopes surplus properties can be redeveloped to create revenue and gain better educational and community use of these facilities. All net proceeds of disposition from sale or lease will have to be directed to the TDSB pupil accommodation reserve fund to address the TDSB’s capital needs.

11/24/07

Permalink 06:31:45 am, by mleslie Email , 584 words, 213 views   English (CA)
Categories: Toronto updates

Fast-track waterfront school, trustees urge

Two Toronto trustees are pushing to speed up a plan to build a school complex near CityPlace that will cater to families expected to move into the downtown pocket already booming with condo development.

The Post's Natalie Alcoba reports:
“I’m anxious to move ahead,” said Catherine Leblanc-Miller, the Toronto Catholic School Board trustee who represents the row of condos that skirts the train tracks on either side of Spadina Avenue.
“As soon as we can agree on a school design and what city permits are necessary, let’s do it because construction is happening all around there.”
The row of towers between the Rogers Centre and just beyond Spadina Avenue have attracted a predominately young, professional crowd. But new condos that are already underway, and public housing that has yet to be built, will include more larger units for families.
The plan is to build a complex with a Catholic school, a public school, a community centre and a daycare to complement the changing demographics. It will be located in the development under construction in the area bounded by Bathurst, Spadina and Front, just west of the latest orange crane and across from what will one day be a park. A public library is also slated to open nearby.
“The whole idea is to have a complete community so that people aren’t living in silos,” said Chris Bolton, who represents the area on the Toronto District School Board. “I think we need to speed up on some of the things.”
Ms. Leblanc-Miller said it will encourage families to move to the neighbourhood and stay there. She hopes a school will be built in as little as two or three years, but said everyone has to be ready to construct together, if only to save money.
About $20-million has been set aside for the construction of the two schools, she said. Local city councillor Adam Vaughan said the school boards have already missed an opportunity to offset some of the construction costs by teaming up with CityPlace developer Concord as it constructs its latest tower.
He noted the “strange” position the board is in, given the excess school capacity in the downtown core. Sheila Penny, executive officer of TDSB facility services, said CityPlace students could be bused to existing area schools, such as Waterfront and Niagara Street.
But she said the board is committed to “community based schooling,” so CityPlace will get its own space. Mr. Vaughan noted the TDSB agreed to build a school in the neighbourhood years ago, so it will have to.
“You have a really interesting community beginning to emerge down there, but the reality is that based on the size of the units there is nowhere to house children,” Mr. Vaughan said.
The councillor has pushed for more affordable housing in the neighbourhood to give it a “range of experiences and economic classes.” He estimated there are about 120 children now living among the 8,000 condo units already built. Most are preschoolers.
And while condo developers are starting to construct more larger units that give families room to grow, Mr. Vaughan noted it’s mostly the affluent who can afford them — and who traditionally have fewer children. The bulk of the schools’ enrolment will come from families moving in to Toronto Community Housing units, which are expected to break ground in about a year, said Mr. Vaughan.
Ms. Leblanc-Miller said it is important to be ready for the children, whenever they move in. “We are prepared to move,” she said.

11/22/07

Permalink 08:48:30 am, by mleslie Email , 69 words, 189 views   English (CA)
Categories: Toronto updates

Developer to build new Toronto school in land swap

CBC News, Toronto - A private developer has begun construction on a unique development near Yonge and Eglinton that includes the rebuilding of a well-known public school. North Toronto Collegiate Institute has been in desperate need of new facilities for years, so the school board sold some of the school's surplus land to the developer, Tridel, which in return will build a new school as well as two condo towers.

11/21/07

Permalink 09:20:00 am, by mleslie Email , 71 words, 253 views   English (CA)
Categories: Individual school case studies

Ripple Rock (BC) Elementary School

Campbell River, British Columbia, a small community of about 30,000 and the unofficial salmon capital of the world, is the site of another model for sustainable design – Ripple Rock Elementary School. The project is by Larry McFarland Architects, the design firm that earned Canada’s first LEED Platinum certification. The project highlights local material, in particular wood from that region of Vancouver Island. See also: http://www.mcfarlandarchitects.com/ripplerock/page1.html

11/15/07

Permalink 07:42:15 pm, by mleslie Email , 59 words, 249 views   English (CA)
Categories: Individual school case studies

Thomas L. Wells Public School (Toronto)

This project was the first LEED(r) - "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" - silver-certified elementary school in Canada. Opened by the Toronto District School Board in 2005, it is located at 69 Nightstar Road, in the former city of Scarborough. Baird Sampson Neuert Architects were the design firm.

I like this project .... Tom Wells was a personal friend of my family.

Permalink 07:06:07 pm, by mleslie Email , 323 words, 420 views   English (CA)
Categories: Information on portable and modular classrooms

Information on Portable/Modular Design and Construction

Here are some information sites that may be useful when siting a new or used school portable in the community ....

1) Building America, Portable Classroom Project – Washington State University undertook to examine energy efficient school portables under this US federal government sponsored programme. See: http://www.ba-pirc.org/data/portables/index.htm

2) California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing – When a statewide class size reduction programme was introduced in California this advocacy group undertook its review. This is an examination of HVAC requirements in portables. See: http://www.cashnet.org/resource-center/Section5/5-3-14.html

3) California Education Policy News – This California news site carries an article written in 1998 that just about sums up the debate: “Portable School Buildings: Scourge, Saving Grace, or Just Part of the Solution?”. See: http://www.edsource.org/pub_edfct_port.cfm

4) Education World – Another contribution to the debate written in 1997 interviewed several teachers. It’s entitled: “Living With the Permanence of Portables”. See: http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues011.shtml

5) Modular Portable review policy in Clark Co. WA – This is an interesting template that spells out in clear fashion what requirements are for this Seattle district school board. (It’s a .pdf file). See: http://www.clark.wa.gov/development/land_use/documents/school-modulars.pdf

6) Oregon Department of Energy “High Performance Portable Classrooms” – The state of Oregon openly admits that portables are a “short term fix” that (unfortunately) have become a permanent solution. So they now have some pretty specific requirements. See: http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/school/portables.shtml

7) Peel District School Board’s Mould Reduction Plan – Our neighbour ran into some problems a little while ago with some festering portables - mould. Read what they did. See: http://38.116.200.80/facts/facts/mould.htm

8) US Environmental Protection Agency’s IAQ Design Tools for Schools – The most common problems in school portable design are addressed here – a must read. See: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schooldesign/portables.html

Build Green Schools.ca

These pages are a resource for students, parents, staff and neighbours who wish to make the buildings and yards in their school community sustainable, high-performance and "green". The site was originally created for members of the Runnymede Public School community in the west-end of Toronto, but has expanded. This blog is owned and maintained by Marshall Leslie (see www.mleslie.com). You can also follow us on Twitter @greenschools_ca

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