By Gord Bowes, News staff
Neighbour complaints about the shabby state of Sherwood Secondary School have resulted in an order from the city to fix up a decaying exterior wall.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in mid-July was issued a property standards order for “repair or replacement of the siding” on the north wall and northwest corner of the building. It has until Sept. 12 to comply.
East Mountain councillor Tom Jackson said a number of residents in the Sherwood neighbourhood have called his office and city departments requesting something be done with the “unsightliness” of the north wall. Large sections of the stucco exterior are missing as a result of weather and vandalism.
Jackson said the city tried to work with the school board to have the problems fixed, but nothing happened.
“I think failing that, work orders have been issued,” he said.
Laura Peddle, the school board trustee for the area, said a temporary fix and a coat of paint is in the works for the wall.
A board spokesman said the work is expected to cost less than $10,000, but as of Monday there was no timeline regarding when the work would be undertaken.
Board staff proposed Sherwood be closed during a review of Mountain high schools in 2011. Its condition was rated poorer than any other building up for closure, requiring about $30 million in repairs, but at the eleventh hour trustees decided to shutter Barton instead, along with Hill Park and Mountain.
Neighbourhood resident Stephanie Baschiera said she has watched the deterioration over the last five years and emailed the board in June about “the continued state of decline” but did not receive a reply.
“I think it sends a message about the condition of the school that I don’t think is true,” she said. “The school was saved. The school has been identified, in a meeting as recently as the spring, as a priority for the board. It’s a real shame the exterior looks like it looks.”
Peddle said the board is making improvements at the school. This summer, for example, a new hardwood gym floor is being installed.
She said $3.5 million has been allocated for new science labs, upgrades of electrical, heating and ventilation systems, painting and asbestos removal, along with a permanent fix for the north exterior wall.
That work is expected to be done in the second half of the school year and continue through next summer.
“Sherwood is catching up for lost years,” said Peddle.