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Alternative closure options give Linden Park glimmer of hope

School becomes JK-8 under two scenarios

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Linden Park Elementary School gets a stay of execution in two of four options offered as alternatives to a staff proposal to close the Vickers Road school and up to three others on the central Mountain.

That’s a change from December, when all non-staff options also called for Linden Park to be shuttered.

The new alternative options are to be presented at the final of four public meetings this evening at 6 p.m. at Hill Park Secondary School as part an accommodation review of eight schools.

A voluntary review committee is now set to hold a final working group meeting next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Ridgemount school to decide which, if any, of the four options to recommend to trustees, who are scheduled to make a decision this spring.

The four alternatives, drawn from suggestions from committee members and the public over the past few months, essentially offer a couple of variations on two approaches to cutting surplus classroom space. They are as follows:

Option 22

Close George L. Armstrong and shift students to Queensdale or Eastmount Park for grades JK to 6. Students in grades 7 and 8 go to Linden Park, which is converted to a JK to 8 school with a six-classroom addition.

Close Ridgemount and Pauline Johnston and shift students living north of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway in JK to 5 to Cardinal Heights and in grades 6 to 8 to Linden Park. Build a new JK to 8 school south of the Linc to take students in that area presently going to Cardinal, Johnson and Ridgemount.

If no funding is available for the new school, Ridgemount stays open as JK to 6 school, with graduates going to Linden Park in the Hill Park Secondary School building for grades 7 and 8.

Estimated cost: $28.3 million ($17.3 million board; $11 million province).

Option 32

Same as above for Armstrong, Queensdale and Eastmount Park, except the implementation date is 2015 and grade 7 and 8 students from Eastmount Park go to Franklin Road. Linden Park adds two kindergarten and two regular classrooms.

Close Ridgemount in 2015 and shift students to Linden Park or Pauline Johnson/Cardinal Heights. Johnson becomes a JK to 3 school and Cardinal a 4 to 8 school this fall. If funding is available, the latter two are replaced with a new school, with consideration given to putting it south of the Linc.

Estimated cost: $26.1 million ($12.4 million board; $13.7 million province).

Option 34

Close Linden Park, Queensdale and Eastmount Park in 2015. Students from the latter two shift to a renovated and expanded Armstrong for JK to 8, while Linden students in JK to 8 east of Upper Wellington Street go to Franklin Road and those west attend Ridgemount, which gets six-classroom and all day kindergarten additions.

Pauline Johnson becomes a JK to 3 school and Cardinal Heights a 4 to 8 school in 2015. If no funding is available for the Ridgemount additions, the two schools remain JK to 5 and 6 to 8 schools, respectively.

Estimated cost: $19.9 million ($15.8 million board; $4.1 million province).

Option 35

Close Linden Park and Eastmount Park in 2015. Eastmount students shift to Armstrong for JK to 8. Linden students east of Upper Wellington go to Franklin for JK to 8, while those to the west go to Queensdale until Grade 6 and then to Armstrong for 7 and 8.

Ridgemount, Pauline Johnson and Cardinal Heights remain as is.

Estimated cost: $24.4 million ($22.8 million board; $1.6 million province).

Staff option

Close Queensdale and Eastmount Park in June 2014. Students shift to Armstrong or Franklin Road, which will both be renovated for full-day kindergarten.

Close Linden Park in June 2014. Students go to Pauline Johnson or Ridgemount; the latter adds two full-day kindergarten rooms and six classrooms by September 2016.

Pauline Johnson becomes JK-3 school and Cardinal Heights a grades 4 to 8, in September 2014. If the board gets funding, a new JK-8 school on site for 550 students closes both.

Estimated cost: $21.9 million ($8.5 million board; $13.4 million province).

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