Tuesday, September 4, 2007

High Park School

Yesterday, I sat across from High Park School,waiting to hand off some leaflets to Kim and Clare. What a sobering sight to see the windows boarded up and the final message on the school sign: "Good Bye High Park School."

By the front entrance, bright yellow flowers were profusely blooming. It seemed a defiant reminder that someone cared enough to plant them. I walked around the school and it struck me how solid the foundation was, how new the building.

What a loss for that community.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

The closure of High Park School revealed a lack of imagination on the part of the Board of Trustees and City Council.

There's a long stretch along 111th Avenue of rundown businesses that do not serve the community very well. The city could have developed a revitalization plan using Smart Choices principles: build family-friendly, affordable homes (such as townhouses and rowhouses) between 110th and 111th Avenues, from 149th to 156th Streets. For young parents who cannot afford single-detached bungalows in mature areas, this would have provided a positive alternative to endless urban sprawl. For the EPSB, there would have been the promise of a new population of students, just blocks away, to boost enrolment at the school.

The potential was there (and remains) to accomplish a lot of good things at High Park. How frustrating it must have been for residents that elected officials saw the challenges but shut out the opportunites.


Christopher Spencer

Clare said...

Hi Sue

Another point should be made.

In the wave of poor planning, now every school day morning a group of students from the High Park Community meet at the closed building's front door to catch the bus to their new school. This has disrupted their lives in a dramtic way and they get to be reminded of it each and every morning.

Our family chose to go to a different school and one of the reasons why was to avoid the daily frustration. That in itself is fine but my children are attending school with only a few children who are their neighbors. Many other community families chose other schooling options so essentially our communities continuity is disintegrating because our kids are not getting to know or develop friendships with each other because they are never together.

It all makes me sad but at the same time we are more committed than ever to keep pressure on the civic goverments to live up to the challenge of making things better with clear, well though out planning; open, transparent and honest dialogue with the affected communities; and wise, long term thinking and decision making.

best regards

Clare Peters
High Park Community