Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
OPINION... On second thought...
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 28 Mar 2007, p. 6

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We wonder how many trustees at the Halton Catholic District School Board might consider taking back last June's decision not to participate in a four-partner, joint Halton Regional Campus. Today the Catholic school board finds itself in a struggle to replace outdated administrative buildings that are literally falling apart. Preliminary findings indicate the board may be facing the financial burden of a $22 million-plus stand-alone facility, the cost of which won't be picked up by the Ministry of Education. (The ministry does not fund administrative facilities.) Some trustees are hesitant to hire the services of real estate agents to find suitable land for a new administrative property until the board can figure out how it's going to pay for the building. Nearly 10 months ago this same school board failed to reach a consensus regarding a shared facility-- this, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of its own school councils were supportive of a single Halton administrative campus. Written support for the regional campus from more than three-quarters of the board's school councils failed to convince a majority of elected trustees not to let an opportunity to be part of a cost-saving collective slip through its fingers. While some trustees were concerned about the negative impact a shared facility might have on the board's ability to maintain its Catholicity, others from within the board viewed it as an opportunity to become part of an inclusive society. Back in June, a 4-4 deadlock vote essentially rejected the board's membership in a regional administrative campus that would have included partners from Halton Region, Halton Regional Police and the Halton District School Board. The Catholic school board could have been a ground-floor partner in an innovative concept intended to save the region's tax base millions of dollars-- compared to the four partners pursuing separate administrative homes. Instead, it now finds itself on the outside looking in.

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28 Mar 2007
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OPINION... On second thought...