Hamilton school trustees' fingers crossed on Ed Centre’s first board meeting

News Sep 11, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

New headquarters should be complete by month’s end, project boss says

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees still hope to hold their first full meeting at the new Education Centre later this month, but have booked city hall just in case it’s not ready.

Board chair Jessica Brennan said although she’s not sure the board room will be completed in time for the Sept. 22 standing committee meeting, she is excited by the new $31.6-million headquarters near Lime Ridge Mall.

She said an abundance of communal spaces, including a large lobby on the lower level that looks out onto the rear yard where the relocated Mohawk Trail School now sits, make for a “student-centred building.”

A wide courtyard out front offers plenty of space for rallies or demonstrations, she added, while the board meeting room will have trustees facing the public gallery, ensuring “everyone sees everybody,” especially during presentations.

“I think it honours the community perspective and delegations and presentations. I think that’s going to be wonderful,” Brennan said.

“I look back over six or seven years of decision-making related to all of this, and we tried so hard to be downtown and it really mattered to us,” she said of unsuccessful efforts to find a way to rebuild by the former Education Centre across from city hall.

“We heard a lot from the community that we needed to be downtown, but now that we’re not, now that we’ve got that space that’s really welcoming, I’m pleased we are where we are.”

Located at the former Crestwood school property, the H-shaped building’s exterior, boardroom, reception area, lobby and stairs that will double as public seating for events remained a work in progress when a reporter dropped by for a visit last week.

The public area is located in the centre of the H and is glassed on both sides, allowing natural lighting during the day and good views of the trail school and courtyard.

It also features two prominent remnants from the demolished downtown centre: the frieze above the former building’s entrance and two large marble panels from its lobby that include a poem by Dr. Harry Paikin, who served as a Hamilton trustee for 41 years.

Project manager Melissa Cohen-White said she expects the three-storey centre to be finished by the end of the month, other than for some minor work that will continue into October.

Nearly all of the projected 478 employees have already moved into the building, vacating rented space downtown and Memorial and Maple Lane schools in Ancaster, she said.

 “I’m pretty proud of it. I’m very thankful that everyone is together. The purpose was to consolidate the staff and have collaboration, and I think this building achieves that,” Cohen-White said.

“It’s a good environment also for the community, too. People can go through the site and walk past Mohawk Trail (School).”

Cohen-White said both the $31.6 million centre and the Mohawk Trail School relocation are within budget. The latter is set at $1 million and will include repair of the roof and brickwork.

“We’re still discussing when restoration will occur, but eventually it will be restored,” she said.

Hamilton school trustees' fingers crossed on Ed Centre’s first board meeting

News Sep 11, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

New headquarters should be complete by month’s end, project boss says

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees still hope to hold their first full meeting at the new Education Centre later this month, but have booked city hall just in case it’s not ready.

Board chair Jessica Brennan said although she’s not sure the board room will be completed in time for the Sept. 22 standing committee meeting, she is excited by the new $31.6-million headquarters near Lime Ridge Mall.

She said an abundance of communal spaces, including a large lobby on the lower level that looks out onto the rear yard where the relocated Mohawk Trail School now sits, make for a “student-centred building.”

A wide courtyard out front offers plenty of space for rallies or demonstrations, she added, while the board meeting room will have trustees facing the public gallery, ensuring “everyone sees everybody,” especially during presentations.

“I think it honours the community perspective and delegations and presentations. I think that’s going to be wonderful,” Brennan said.

“I look back over six or seven years of decision-making related to all of this, and we tried so hard to be downtown and it really mattered to us,” she said of unsuccessful efforts to find a way to rebuild by the former Education Centre across from city hall.

“We heard a lot from the community that we needed to be downtown, but now that we’re not, now that we’ve got that space that’s really welcoming, I’m pleased we are where we are.”

Located at the former Crestwood school property, the H-shaped building’s exterior, boardroom, reception area, lobby and stairs that will double as public seating for events remained a work in progress when a reporter dropped by for a visit last week.

The public area is located in the centre of the H and is glassed on both sides, allowing natural lighting during the day and good views of the trail school and courtyard.

It also features two prominent remnants from the demolished downtown centre: the frieze above the former building’s entrance and two large marble panels from its lobby that include a poem by Dr. Harry Paikin, who served as a Hamilton trustee for 41 years.

Project manager Melissa Cohen-White said she expects the three-storey centre to be finished by the end of the month, other than for some minor work that will continue into October.

Nearly all of the projected 478 employees have already moved into the building, vacating rented space downtown and Memorial and Maple Lane schools in Ancaster, she said.

 “I’m pretty proud of it. I’m very thankful that everyone is together. The purpose was to consolidate the staff and have collaboration, and I think this building achieves that,” Cohen-White said.

“It’s a good environment also for the community, too. People can go through the site and walk past Mohawk Trail (School).”

Cohen-White said both the $31.6 million centre and the Mohawk Trail School relocation are within budget. The latter is set at $1 million and will include repair of the roof and brickwork.

“We’re still discussing when restoration will occur, but eventually it will be restored,” she said.

Hamilton school trustees' fingers crossed on Ed Centre’s first board meeting

News Sep 11, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

New headquarters should be complete by month’s end, project boss says

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees still hope to hold their first full meeting at the new Education Centre later this month, but have booked city hall just in case it’s not ready.

Board chair Jessica Brennan said although she’s not sure the board room will be completed in time for the Sept. 22 standing committee meeting, she is excited by the new $31.6-million headquarters near Lime Ridge Mall.

She said an abundance of communal spaces, including a large lobby on the lower level that looks out onto the rear yard where the relocated Mohawk Trail School now sits, make for a “student-centred building.”

A wide courtyard out front offers plenty of space for rallies or demonstrations, she added, while the board meeting room will have trustees facing the public gallery, ensuring “everyone sees everybody,” especially during presentations.

“I think it honours the community perspective and delegations and presentations. I think that’s going to be wonderful,” Brennan said.

“I look back over six or seven years of decision-making related to all of this, and we tried so hard to be downtown and it really mattered to us,” she said of unsuccessful efforts to find a way to rebuild by the former Education Centre across from city hall.

“We heard a lot from the community that we needed to be downtown, but now that we’re not, now that we’ve got that space that’s really welcoming, I’m pleased we are where we are.”

Located at the former Crestwood school property, the H-shaped building’s exterior, boardroom, reception area, lobby and stairs that will double as public seating for events remained a work in progress when a reporter dropped by for a visit last week.

The public area is located in the centre of the H and is glassed on both sides, allowing natural lighting during the day and good views of the trail school and courtyard.

It also features two prominent remnants from the demolished downtown centre: the frieze above the former building’s entrance and two large marble panels from its lobby that include a poem by Dr. Harry Paikin, who served as a Hamilton trustee for 41 years.

Project manager Melissa Cohen-White said she expects the three-storey centre to be finished by the end of the month, other than for some minor work that will continue into October.

Nearly all of the projected 478 employees have already moved into the building, vacating rented space downtown and Memorial and Maple Lane schools in Ancaster, she said.

 “I’m pretty proud of it. I’m very thankful that everyone is together. The purpose was to consolidate the staff and have collaboration, and I think this building achieves that,” Cohen-White said.

“It’s a good environment also for the community, too. People can go through the site and walk past Mohawk Trail (School).”

Cohen-White said both the $31.6 million centre and the Mohawk Trail School relocation are within budget. The latter is set at $1 million and will include repair of the roof and brickwork.

“We’re still discussing when restoration will occur, but eventually it will be restored,” she said.