Virtual community

A virtual community forum on the new elementary school organized

Due to overcrowding over the years, modular classrooms have had to be added to primary schools in Scarborough, including this school year at Eight Corners. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

SCARBOROUGH — On Monday, June 6, Scarborough City Council hosted a virtual community forum presentation on the K-8 Strategic Project and the new elementary school.

The meeting followed the first community forum held on May 11. The meeting was about education and the vision for a new primary school in Scarborough.

The presentation informed residents about the school site selection process, site analysis, review of site selection criteria, and how data is translated to identify school locations. ‘school.

“The building committee is made up of district leaders, elementary school principals, teachers, school board members, city councilors and community members,” the Scarborough School Board said in a statement. sent by email. “The committee has been meeting twice a month since January and looks forward to sharing progress and receiving feedback. This second community forum will focus on the process of selecting a site and hearing community feedback on the priorities and goals of the process. »

Al Palmer, of Gorrill Palmer Consulting Engineers, Inc., is working with the school department to find a new site for the new elementary school and said the consultants are guiding the site selection process. Yet, the final decision rests with the community and the school board to decide where the school should be built.

Palmer discussed the 11-step preliminary site selection criteria, including safety, environment, location/future expansion, utilities, soils/topography, traffic/transportation safety, public services, cost, availability, community involvement and local criteria.

During the meeting, Lisa Sawin, an architect at Harriman, asked residents where they would prioritize the 11 site selection criteria. The top five things residents thought were most important were location/future expansion, traffic/transportation safety, environment, and utilities.

Residents could also vote on the general area they would like to see, the new elementary school. Many participants would like to see the school near the Downs.

“I think it’s important to stress that the needs of the facility, K-8, these are not new issues, a lot of our buildings especially K-2 and at the college we’ve already exceeded the capacity of our existing schools,” Superintendent Geoff Bruno said. “Our current infrastructure does not meet the basic educational needs of our students, and we need a sustainable solution to accommodate our current population and the enrollments likely to increase in the future.”

The goal is to consolidate the three elementary schools as part of a strategic K-8 solution, eliminate the 30 district laptops, reduce overcrowding in the middle school, and coordinate and strategically align the project with other community initiatives and the overall urban plan.

The next community forum will be held in September or October 2022, where design ideas will be discussed. For more information on the project, visit https://www.scarboroughschools.org/board/standing-committees/building-steering-committee.

“The next forum we have planned is for this fall,” Sawin said. “We know it’s hard to engage over the summer, so the next time we have a forum will be in September or October. This is where we will start talking about developing the design brief, in fact the vision of the construction project. »