Hamilton trustees to give Sherwood Secondary School rebuild one more shot

News Oct 23, 2020 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton’s public school board will try for an eighth and final time to convince the Ministry of Education to help it rebuild Sherwood Secondary School.

Trustees on the finance and facilities committee unanimously agreed to stand by the project rather than pursue two other options presented by staff, including closing Sherwood and moving students to the former Barton high school.

Staff estimated upgrading Barton will cost $8 million, compared to the $15 million at Sherwood, where asbestos concerns stalled planned renovations of third-floor science labs five years ago.

The ministry has rejected requests for funding to rebuild the east Mountain school seven times since then, unmoved by a board offer in 2016 to contribute $9 million it had budgeted for upgrading science labs, the library and sports field.

Board chair Alex Johnstone said any change in plans will require public consultation, but she doesn’t think the Sherwood community is ready for that discussion until the board has given the rebuild one more try.

Trustees agreed in 2012 to keep Sherwood open as part of an accommodation review plan to close Barton and Hill Park and build the new Frances Henderson on the south Mountain.

Barton was renamed Henderson while serving as a holding school for the new Henderson, but is now empty following the latter’s opening on Oct. 13.

“I think we’ve put together a strong case. I think that the government owes us a bit more of an explanation,” Johnstone said at the Oct. 22 online meeting.

“I think it would be important too to communicate to the community that if on an eighth and final time that this is not successful, that we would be coming back to the community for further direction.”

Trustee Kathy Archer, whose Ward 6 includes both schools, said the Sherwood community made it “loud and clear” at a town hall about three and a half years ago that it wants a rebuild.

She said the town hall also indicated people wanted Sherwood to remain open while the new school is built on its football field.

“Students aren’t really thrilled about travelling to Barton even temporarily,” Archer said. “They would like to stay at their school.”

Associate director Stacey Zucker said both schools are presently considered to be in poor condition, with needed repairs at Sherwood about 74 per cent of the cost of reconstruction and those at Barton about 66 per cent.

She said 725 students can walk to Barton — compared to 605 at Sherwood — but Barton’s 1,192 student capacity is lower than Sherwood’s 1,502.

Given a highest projected enrolment of 1,389 in the next five years — up from the current 1,106 — Barton would either need portable classrooms or, if funded by the ministry, an addition, she said.

Zucker said discussions with the ministry have suggested the province is unlikely to fund a new Sherwood because it isn’t removing excess student capacity, as with the new Henderson.

She said the ministry also criticized the board’s 2014 decision to spend $10.3 million to upgrade Westdale’s Dalewood Elementary School, which suggests it will also be cool to renovating Sherwood given the cheaper Barton option.

The board presently receives about $28 million per year from the province for school renewal and repairs, but the ministry has stressed the money is supposed to be used for all 97 schools rather than big-ticket upgrades at a single school, Zucker said.

 

Hamilton trustees to give Sherwood Secondary School rebuild one more shot

Staff report identifies move to Barton as possible alternative

News Oct 23, 2020 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton’s public school board will try for an eighth and final time to convince the Ministry of Education to help it rebuild Sherwood Secondary School.

Trustees on the finance and facilities committee unanimously agreed to stand by the project rather than pursue two other options presented by staff, including closing Sherwood and moving students to the former Barton high school.

Staff estimated upgrading Barton will cost $8 million, compared to the $15 million at Sherwood, where asbestos concerns stalled planned renovations of third-floor science labs five years ago.

The ministry has rejected requests for funding to rebuild the east Mountain school seven times since then, unmoved by a board offer in 2016 to contribute $9 million it had budgeted for upgrading science labs, the library and sports field.

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Board chair Alex Johnstone said any change in plans will require public consultation, but she doesn’t think the Sherwood community is ready for that discussion until the board has given the rebuild one more try.

Trustees agreed in 2012 to keep Sherwood open as part of an accommodation review plan to close Barton and Hill Park and build the new Frances Henderson on the south Mountain.

Barton was renamed Henderson while serving as a holding school for the new Henderson, but is now empty following the latter’s opening on Oct. 13.

“I think we’ve put together a strong case. I think that the government owes us a bit more of an explanation,” Johnstone said at the Oct. 22 online meeting.

“I think it would be important too to communicate to the community that if on an eighth and final time that this is not successful, that we would be coming back to the community for further direction.”

Trustee Kathy Archer, whose Ward 6 includes both schools, said the Sherwood community made it “loud and clear” at a town hall about three and a half years ago that it wants a rebuild.

She said the town hall also indicated people wanted Sherwood to remain open while the new school is built on its football field.

“Students aren’t really thrilled about travelling to Barton even temporarily,” Archer said. “They would like to stay at their school.”

Associate director Stacey Zucker said both schools are presently considered to be in poor condition, with needed repairs at Sherwood about 74 per cent of the cost of reconstruction and those at Barton about 66 per cent.

She said 725 students can walk to Barton — compared to 605 at Sherwood — but Barton’s 1,192 student capacity is lower than Sherwood’s 1,502.

Given a highest projected enrolment of 1,389 in the next five years — up from the current 1,106 — Barton would either need portable classrooms or, if funded by the ministry, an addition, she said.

Zucker said discussions with the ministry have suggested the province is unlikely to fund a new Sherwood because it isn’t removing excess student capacity, as with the new Henderson.

She said the ministry also criticized the board’s 2014 decision to spend $10.3 million to upgrade Westdale’s Dalewood Elementary School, which suggests it will also be cool to renovating Sherwood given the cheaper Barton option.

The board presently receives about $28 million per year from the province for school renewal and repairs, but the ministry has stressed the money is supposed to be used for all 97 schools rather than big-ticket upgrades at a single school, Zucker said.

 

Hamilton trustees to give Sherwood Secondary School rebuild one more shot

Staff report identifies move to Barton as possible alternative

News Oct 23, 2020 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton’s public school board will try for an eighth and final time to convince the Ministry of Education to help it rebuild Sherwood Secondary School.

Trustees on the finance and facilities committee unanimously agreed to stand by the project rather than pursue two other options presented by staff, including closing Sherwood and moving students to the former Barton high school.

Staff estimated upgrading Barton will cost $8 million, compared to the $15 million at Sherwood, where asbestos concerns stalled planned renovations of third-floor science labs five years ago.

The ministry has rejected requests for funding to rebuild the east Mountain school seven times since then, unmoved by a board offer in 2016 to contribute $9 million it had budgeted for upgrading science labs, the library and sports field.

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Board chair Alex Johnstone said any change in plans will require public consultation, but she doesn’t think the Sherwood community is ready for that discussion until the board has given the rebuild one more try.

Trustees agreed in 2012 to keep Sherwood open as part of an accommodation review plan to close Barton and Hill Park and build the new Frances Henderson on the south Mountain.

Barton was renamed Henderson while serving as a holding school for the new Henderson, but is now empty following the latter’s opening on Oct. 13.

“I think we’ve put together a strong case. I think that the government owes us a bit more of an explanation,” Johnstone said at the Oct. 22 online meeting.

“I think it would be important too to communicate to the community that if on an eighth and final time that this is not successful, that we would be coming back to the community for further direction.”

Trustee Kathy Archer, whose Ward 6 includes both schools, said the Sherwood community made it “loud and clear” at a town hall about three and a half years ago that it wants a rebuild.

She said the town hall also indicated people wanted Sherwood to remain open while the new school is built on its football field.

“Students aren’t really thrilled about travelling to Barton even temporarily,” Archer said. “They would like to stay at their school.”

Associate director Stacey Zucker said both schools are presently considered to be in poor condition, with needed repairs at Sherwood about 74 per cent of the cost of reconstruction and those at Barton about 66 per cent.

She said 725 students can walk to Barton — compared to 605 at Sherwood — but Barton’s 1,192 student capacity is lower than Sherwood’s 1,502.

Given a highest projected enrolment of 1,389 in the next five years — up from the current 1,106 — Barton would either need portable classrooms or, if funded by the ministry, an addition, she said.

Zucker said discussions with the ministry have suggested the province is unlikely to fund a new Sherwood because it isn’t removing excess student capacity, as with the new Henderson.

She said the ministry also criticized the board’s 2014 decision to spend $10.3 million to upgrade Westdale’s Dalewood Elementary School, which suggests it will also be cool to renovating Sherwood given the cheaper Barton option.

The board presently receives about $28 million per year from the province for school renewal and repairs, but the ministry has stressed the money is supposed to be used for all 97 schools rather than big-ticket upgrades at a single school, Zucker said.