Upper Stoney Creek’s Billy Green school in gym battle

News Jun 09, 2020 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

The battle in upper Stoney Creek for a long-promised new gym at Billy Green Elementary School may turn political following the province’s rejection of a Hamilton public board request to use its own money for the $2.4-million project.

Board associate director Stacey Zucker said she’s still hopeful the Ministry of Education will reconsider the decision, which also puts in doubt planned new gyms at Rosedale, Queensdale and A.M. Cunningham elementary schools.

If not, the board may have to submit the four projects to the ministry as part of a capital priorities grants process, she told trustees during a June 4 telephone meeting of their finance and facilities committee.

“We’re hoping they will reconsider and maybe give us some information on how we can strengthen those cases and try again,” Zucker said.

“If staff doesn’t have any further options, then we may look to trustees and the communities for a political push.”

Zucker said staff opted against the capital priorities grants process because the board is limited to eight projects and typically submits bigger-ticket items, like new schools and additions.

The Ford government has yet to issue any capital priorities grants since taking office two years ago, but did invite boards to submit proposed projects last September. The previous Liberal government issued the grants at least once a year.

The four new gyms have been in limbo since May 2019, when the board first proposed to use proceeds from the sale of surplus schools and properties to pay for them — money which must normally go toward repair or replacement of existing school components.

Committee chair Dawn Danko said the new gyms are needed to meet current ministry standards and, at Queensdale and Rosedale, commitments made to the community during accommodation reviews that closed schools.

The Billy Green gym was first approved by trustees in 2017 and is in response to a burgeoning student population that requires seven portable classrooms.

“Every year that a project is delayed, there are students who will leave a school that have never benefited from it,” Danko said.

Stoney Creek trustee Cam Galindo called the ministry decision disappointing, but said he remains confident Billy Green’s gym will get built.

“The Billy Green community has been particularly outspoken about the need for a new gym, a bigger gym,” he said. “There is a solution to every puzzle; it’s just a matter of finding it, so I don’t doubt it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.”

Efforts to get a comment from the ministry were unsuccessful by deadline.

The uncertainty over the gym’s fate comes as the board readies for a busy summer construction season in Stoney Creek that includes additions to Mount Albion and Collegiate Avenue elementary schools.

Saltfleet District High School is getting roof repairs budgeted at $1 million and work is finally set to start on a new high-end natural grass sports field and rubberized track originally scheduled for last summer.

Senior facilities manager Dave Anderson said the project was delayed by significant, unexpected drainage issues that needed to be fixed to maintain warranties on the field and track.

He said he hopes the field will be ready by September, but unfavourable weather could delay completion until the spring.

Trustees decided last June that all future new high school sports fields will be artificial turf, but the decision came after the Saltfleet contract had been awarded.

Orchard Park Secondary School in lower Stoney Creek will benefit from the new policy and is set this summer for an artificial field, budgeted at $2 million, and the final of two phases of roof repairs, budgeted at $1.5 million.

Work will also continue on the Memorial replacement elementary school, scheduled to open next January, and the new elementary school on the Glendale campus, set to open in September 2021.

Glendale high school is also slated to get a new parking lot, budgeted at $1 million.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: We reviewed public school projects in Stoney Creek for the summer and learned the province has denied permission to proceed with a new gym at Billy Green Elementary School.

 

Upper Stoney Creek’s Billy Green school in gym battle

Province rejects Hamilton board request to use own money #infrastructure

News Jun 09, 2020 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

The battle in upper Stoney Creek for a long-promised new gym at Billy Green Elementary School may turn political following the province’s rejection of a Hamilton public board request to use its own money for the $2.4-million project.

Board associate director Stacey Zucker said she’s still hopeful the Ministry of Education will reconsider the decision, which also puts in doubt planned new gyms at Rosedale, Queensdale and A.M. Cunningham elementary schools.

If not, the board may have to submit the four projects to the ministry as part of a capital priorities grants process, she told trustees during a June 4 telephone meeting of their finance and facilities committee.

“We’re hoping they will reconsider and maybe give us some information on how we can strengthen those cases and try again,” Zucker said.

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“If staff doesn’t have any further options, then we may look to trustees and the communities for a political push.”

Zucker said staff opted against the capital priorities grants process because the board is limited to eight projects and typically submits bigger-ticket items, like new schools and additions.

The Ford government has yet to issue any capital priorities grants since taking office two years ago, but did invite boards to submit proposed projects last September. The previous Liberal government issued the grants at least once a year.

The four new gyms have been in limbo since May 2019, when the board first proposed to use proceeds from the sale of surplus schools and properties to pay for them — money which must normally go toward repair or replacement of existing school components.

Committee chair Dawn Danko said the new gyms are needed to meet current ministry standards and, at Queensdale and Rosedale, commitments made to the community during accommodation reviews that closed schools.

The Billy Green gym was first approved by trustees in 2017 and is in response to a burgeoning student population that requires seven portable classrooms.

“Every year that a project is delayed, there are students who will leave a school that have never benefited from it,” Danko said.

Stoney Creek trustee Cam Galindo called the ministry decision disappointing, but said he remains confident Billy Green’s gym will get built.

“The Billy Green community has been particularly outspoken about the need for a new gym, a bigger gym,” he said. “There is a solution to every puzzle; it’s just a matter of finding it, so I don’t doubt it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.”

Efforts to get a comment from the ministry were unsuccessful by deadline.

The uncertainty over the gym’s fate comes as the board readies for a busy summer construction season in Stoney Creek that includes additions to Mount Albion and Collegiate Avenue elementary schools.

Saltfleet District High School is getting roof repairs budgeted at $1 million and work is finally set to start on a new high-end natural grass sports field and rubberized track originally scheduled for last summer.

Senior facilities manager Dave Anderson said the project was delayed by significant, unexpected drainage issues that needed to be fixed to maintain warranties on the field and track.

He said he hopes the field will be ready by September, but unfavourable weather could delay completion until the spring.

Trustees decided last June that all future new high school sports fields will be artificial turf, but the decision came after the Saltfleet contract had been awarded.

Orchard Park Secondary School in lower Stoney Creek will benefit from the new policy and is set this summer for an artificial field, budgeted at $2 million, and the final of two phases of roof repairs, budgeted at $1.5 million.

Work will also continue on the Memorial replacement elementary school, scheduled to open next January, and the new elementary school on the Glendale campus, set to open in September 2021.

Glendale high school is also slated to get a new parking lot, budgeted at $1 million.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: We reviewed public school projects in Stoney Creek for the summer and learned the province has denied permission to proceed with a new gym at Billy Green Elementary School.

 

Upper Stoney Creek’s Billy Green school in gym battle

Province rejects Hamilton board request to use own money #infrastructure

News Jun 09, 2020 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

The battle in upper Stoney Creek for a long-promised new gym at Billy Green Elementary School may turn political following the province’s rejection of a Hamilton public board request to use its own money for the $2.4-million project.

Board associate director Stacey Zucker said she’s still hopeful the Ministry of Education will reconsider the decision, which also puts in doubt planned new gyms at Rosedale, Queensdale and A.M. Cunningham elementary schools.

If not, the board may have to submit the four projects to the ministry as part of a capital priorities grants process, she told trustees during a June 4 telephone meeting of their finance and facilities committee.

“We’re hoping they will reconsider and maybe give us some information on how we can strengthen those cases and try again,” Zucker said.

Related Content

“If staff doesn’t have any further options, then we may look to trustees and the communities for a political push.”

Zucker said staff opted against the capital priorities grants process because the board is limited to eight projects and typically submits bigger-ticket items, like new schools and additions.

The Ford government has yet to issue any capital priorities grants since taking office two years ago, but did invite boards to submit proposed projects last September. The previous Liberal government issued the grants at least once a year.

The four new gyms have been in limbo since May 2019, when the board first proposed to use proceeds from the sale of surplus schools and properties to pay for them — money which must normally go toward repair or replacement of existing school components.

Committee chair Dawn Danko said the new gyms are needed to meet current ministry standards and, at Queensdale and Rosedale, commitments made to the community during accommodation reviews that closed schools.

The Billy Green gym was first approved by trustees in 2017 and is in response to a burgeoning student population that requires seven portable classrooms.

“Every year that a project is delayed, there are students who will leave a school that have never benefited from it,” Danko said.

Stoney Creek trustee Cam Galindo called the ministry decision disappointing, but said he remains confident Billy Green’s gym will get built.

“The Billy Green community has been particularly outspoken about the need for a new gym, a bigger gym,” he said. “There is a solution to every puzzle; it’s just a matter of finding it, so I don’t doubt it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.”

Efforts to get a comment from the ministry were unsuccessful by deadline.

The uncertainty over the gym’s fate comes as the board readies for a busy summer construction season in Stoney Creek that includes additions to Mount Albion and Collegiate Avenue elementary schools.

Saltfleet District High School is getting roof repairs budgeted at $1 million and work is finally set to start on a new high-end natural grass sports field and rubberized track originally scheduled for last summer.

Senior facilities manager Dave Anderson said the project was delayed by significant, unexpected drainage issues that needed to be fixed to maintain warranties on the field and track.

He said he hopes the field will be ready by September, but unfavourable weather could delay completion until the spring.

Trustees decided last June that all future new high school sports fields will be artificial turf, but the decision came after the Saltfleet contract had been awarded.

Orchard Park Secondary School in lower Stoney Creek will benefit from the new policy and is set this summer for an artificial field, budgeted at $2 million, and the final of two phases of roof repairs, budgeted at $1.5 million.

Work will also continue on the Memorial replacement elementary school, scheduled to open next January, and the new elementary school on the Glendale campus, set to open in September 2021.

Glendale high school is also slated to get a new parking lot, budgeted at $1 million.


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: We reviewed public school projects in Stoney Creek for the summer and learned the province has denied permission to proceed with a new gym at Billy Green Elementary School.