Public school board vows to move ahead with Campus
- Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 28 Jun 2006, p. 4
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The loss of the Halton Catholic District School Board as a partner for the proposed facility to house four regional organizations will not prevent Halton's public board from forging ahead with the plan. Acting on a staff recommendation to continue with the concept of a `super centre' complex for Halton Region, Halton Police and the Halton District School Board, public board trustees gave unanimous approval to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the groups at a board meeting Wednesday. In doing so trustees gave the OK to an initial outlay of $70,000 as the board's share of the cost of site pre-design work. The public board go-ahead came a day after Catholic board trustees voted 4-4 on signing the memorandum. The tie defeated the issue and leaves the separate school board out of the project. The Halton Regional Campus is a proposed 540,000-square-foot, one-stop centre that could be open by 2009 on the grounds of the current regional headquarters in Oakville. It would cost about $127 million to build, saving taxpayers an estimated $20 million over the cost of the four original partners building their own individual facilities. The separate board decision left public board administrators and trustees a little confused and disappointed but still convinced they can make the project work, while expressing hope the Catholic board will opt back into the process at some point. "I'm really surprised because there has been a lot of support of it from the public and through editorials in the newspapers," said HDSB chair Paul Tate. When asked by another trustee if there was a chance for the Catholic board to slide back into the deal, Tate noted a municipal election is coming in November and possible changes in trustee personnel might prompt that board to re-open the issue. "Probably the issue comes down to protecting their autonomy and their Catholicism, but that's easy for me to say because I'm not in their shoes," Tate said. HDSB Director of Education Wayne Joudrie said that from his perspective the joint project is too good to pass up. "The estimated savings for our board is $5M, as opposed to our own stand-alone facility. "I don't have all the specifics of the implications of one partner not being involved (but) there is so much of benefit to this that I believe we should go forward to the next level." Facilities superintendent Gerry Cullen told trustees costs would go up if one of the four partners backs out but he predicted the increase would be marginal. Joudrie said the board's projected share of costs had been 14 per cent but that it will go up if a partner leaves. He said that by February 2007 trustees would have to make a decision as to whether "we are all in or not". At that time $750,000 more would be required of the board for more detailed architectural designs.
An artist's rendering of the proposed Halton Regional Campus lobby.
- Whitnell, Tim
- Media Type:
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- Date of Publication:
- 28 Jun 2006
- Personal Name(s):
- Tate, Paul ; Joudrie, Wayne ; Cullen, Gerry
- Corporate Name(s):
- Halton Catholic District School Board ; Halton Region ; Halton Police ; Halton District School Board
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- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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