Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
OPINION: Catholic board has nothing to fear
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 21 Jun 2006, p. 6

Full Text

We don't understand how a proposed joint administrative building-- to be shared by Halton's two publicly-funded school boards, Halton Region staff and the Halton Regional Police Service-- could possibly threaten Catholic education. The proposed joint "supercentre" is a 540,000square-foot multi-use campus capable of accommodating more than 1,900 staff from the four organizations. The campus would cost about $127 million to build, while saving taxpayers an estimated $20 million over the cost of each partner building its own facility. For the Catholic school board, the shared administrative building is the answer to an accommodation problem it has been facing for several years. The board's administrative staff is currently spread across four locations in Burlington and Oakville on sites that are in need of either repairs or upgrades. According to Giacomo Corbacio, superintendent of facilities, the proposed shared facility would save the Catholic board about $6.2 million compared to building its own administrative headquarters. Despite assurances from their own senior administrators, some Catholic board trustees-- particularly Burlington's Bob Van de Vrande-- have voiced concern that such a shared facility might somehow cause irreparable harm to Catholic education. With all due respect, until Van de Vrande can show us how this innovative, cost-saving initiative is inherently harmful to Catholic education, we find it difficult to take his remarks as anything more than unfounded fear. The Catholic school board is not exactly going into this shared arrangement blind. Corbacio assured trustees that all concerns about the Catholic school board retaining its autonomy, identity and Catholicity would be addressed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) all parties need to sign before the project moves forward. Quoting a former U.S. president, we think Van de Vrande and the Catholic school board have "nothing to fear but fear itself."

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Date of Publication:
21 Jun 2006
Personal Name(s):
Corbacio, Giacomo ; Van de Vrande, Bob
Corporate Name(s):
Halton Regional Police Service
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OPINION: Catholic board has nothing to fear