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BWDSB Trustees and Staff,
My name is Graham Taylor. I am a grade 10 student at OSCVI. Even though the trustees decision is coming up, and lots of proposals have been submitted so far, I would like to respectfully submit one more before the board. The proposal is a compromise of what the two main ideas of existing proposals have been so far, which is two grade 7/12 schools and one community high school, with elementary closures happening in 2016/217.

My Proposal:

  • Make two grade 7/12 schools at OSCVI and WHSS locations for 2016/2017 school year.
  • In three to five years time, submit a business caseto the Ontario government to rebuild a new high school on former WHSS grounds, and move all grade 9/12 students at the new, rebuilt community high school location for 2021/2022 school year.
  • Move all grade 7-8 students to current OSCVI location and have a community middle school at the OSCVI location in 2021/2022.
  • Close Bayview, Dufferin and Derby elementary schools for the 2016/2017 school year. Disperse students from affected schools to ArranTara, Hepworth, Alexandra, Sydenham, KeppelSarawak and Hillcrest elementary schools.

Benefits of this Proposal:
- Saves BWDSB future repair money to maintain WHSS location for longer than five years. Approximately $17.5M is the cumulative cost of repairs for WHSS over next five years. A majority of these repairs are low priority (approx $8.9M, or 50.9% of total
repair costs in the next five years (from BWDSB website) Since a lot of these repairs are low priority, they would not be needed to maintain WHSS, which would be closing within the five year repair timeframe. With saving this $8.9M, funds could be reallocated towards the new built WHSS grade 9/12 location.
- Two grade 7/12 schools displaces less students and staff in 2016/2017 school year. Since less students and staff will be displaced in 2016/2017, it will allow for a smoother transition for those involved in the shortterm.
During this time when it is two grade 7/12 schools, the schools would be able to hold functions together, easing the process of a brand new high school in five years when students already are acquainted with each other. This is one easy way that would contribute for a very easy transition when the larger longterm change happens, which students would then have time to prepare for.
- New Schools, New Histories. A big concern with those opposing a grade 9/12 school at WHSS in 2016/2017 was that we are losing the legacy of the OSCVI. This is an important issue to many that does not have a price tag. Creating a new high school would mean a fresh start, and a new history, not one's history yielding to its crosstown counterpart. The new secondary school would have a new name, new building and new logo. This is a true fresh start. Even though the new middle school would be at the old OSCVI location, it would be renamed and a new name would be inclusive to the whole area as a whole, without an east or west side bias as previous school names have held.
- Utilization rates meet the goal of the BWDSB, short term and long term.
Another concern for one grade 912 school at WHSS is that in 2016/2017, the utilization rate would be 103%. This is a huge jump for many students, as room would be very tight. This also greatly exceeds the BWDSB goal of a utilization rate of 80% in its locations. My plan keeps a steady utilization that sets the schools up for short term and long term utilization rates at or around 80% , which not only maintains the BWDSB goal, but leave room for students should the Owen Sound area experience a growth in population. A table is included here to show one and five year utilization rates with my proposal , with information that the BWDSB website provides.








- Two newer schools leads to savings in longterm repair costs. Because we would have two relatively newer schools for grade 7-8 and 9/12 students, the repair cost would not be as high. This is especially true if low priority repair money from WHSS is reallocated to a new secondary school. This would save the BWDSB money in both the short and long term in both stages of my proposal; the grade 7/12stage and the 7-8 and 9/12 stage that will stay longterm. This also means that no new secondary or middle schools will need to be built long term in the Owen Sound area.
No need in redrawing school boundaries. Because of the utilization rate being around the 80% goal, no redrawing of boundaries would be necessary to fit the total amount of students the schools could handle. This had been discussed with the prior 9/12 proposal with a utilization rate of 103%. This proposal provides longterm school sustainability, as well as still having capacity to welcome outofboundary students.
Keeps OSCVI art and WHSS technology facilities accessible by all Owen Sound BWDSB students during 5 year grade 7/12 term. Because we would be keeping OSCVI as a middle school after five years, it would still have all the speciality art facilities the OSCVI had as a high school, and not potentially renovated into K-8 classrooms. This includes a state of the art auditorium, as well as very well equipped music and drama rooms. This would also save the current technology facilities at WHSS, including an auto and metal shop, as well as a woodshop. This would last for approximately five years until the new facility is built. These funds would come from savings on lowpriority maintenance costs as well as included in the business case for a new school to the provincial government.
Potential Issues and Solutions:
Business case for new WHSS location to be 9/12 high school. This is an issue that was brought up to me when I first constructed this proposal. Since the WHSS facility is fifty-seven years old. With my proposal, it will be rebuilt in five years, which would make the present WHSS building 62 years old.
Because of the schools age and upcoming renovations, this should be enough ground for a proposal. An example of this is in 2011, the province gave Essex District High School $18.5M to rebuild. Even though the former Essex District High School facility was 20 years older at the time of its rebuild than our present WHSS facility, it had a similar amount of students and features that WHSS has today. Assuming our rebuilt facility was similar to theirs at $18.5M, with $8.9M in reallocated funds, we would only need to apply for $9.6M, or approximately $10M, to rebuild a community high school at WHSS in five years time. This would be far more likely to be granted than the full approx $18.5M price tag. There are lots of rebuilds going on just like that of EDHS all over Ontario. If it is proposed, and well planned, there is no reason the business case for the new high school would not be granted.
Location of New High School. One question I first received with this proposal was where would the new community high school be located. An option that came to mind was building the new school where WHSS currently has its athletic facilities. This would keep the current WHSS location still available for use while a new high school is being built. Once the new school is completed and the 2020/2021 school year is completed, the current WHSS building would be demolished and that space would house the athletic facility and parking room to accommodate the extra students and staff that would be attending the new high school location. WHSS athletic facilities during the building of the new school would be at a different location, or various locations throughout Owen Sound. This was just one possibility, and there would be three years time to discuss and plan other possibilities on the future location of the new community high school.
Bussing/ Transportation. Because of the elementary school closures, transportation routes would need to be redrawn from the bus routes we have in the present. This would reduce the number of busses required, therefore reducing costs. Transportation is not a huge factor for the 2016/2017 school year. This becomes a bigger issue in 2021/2022 when the new middle and high schools begin operation. Since we have five years to consider these possibilities, it is not a major need for concern. This extra time gives people who oversee transportation to research what the best option is for transportation and make their decisions closer to 2021/2022 when this change actually takes place.
Final Remarks
My proposal is a compromise of the many complex issues that this ARC review presented. In my compromise for the situation, we would be meeting the board's utilization goals for the shortterm, and being able to have this same goal maintained longterm in new facilities. It also saves the board money in school renewal costs, again both in the short term and long term, while saving the board money in the long term with future maintenance costs considering that both the schools will be under 25 years old and no big maintenance costs will be needed to upkeep these schools. My proposal meets both the BWDSB long term goals in utilization and school renewal costs.
An important issue to many is preserving school history. That is not always easy to accomplish, and that is an example of this. An ancient proverb is that all good things must come to an end, but sometimes it makes way for even better things. My proposal is an example of this. We would still have five years with our current school arrangement, but we would have have the beginning of a new legacy in a new building, with no previous bias. This would include the existing facilities that both schools previously had, and some new ones that both student bodies never had. This was just simply not possible with the grade 9/12 at current WHSS facility. Examples of this are classes involving computer technology and more modern classrooms. This would benefit a broader range of students and even make Owen Sound's high schools more appealing to employers. The new high school to be built in five years will have both school's specialties under one brand new roof.
Going with grade 7/12 for five years gives the BWDSB a chance to test how the system can be run for schools in the future, as many rural areas are being forced to going to this system. With this being a temporary manner, we would be able to see its effectiveness at the end of the five year term.
The closure of Bayview, Derby and Dufferin elementary schools and the redistribution of their students will follow the same suit that previous proposals have included with the same boundaries. This is to occur in 2016/2017, and this change will be settled in well before the secondary and middle school switching begins in 2021/2022.
Thank You,
Graham Taylor
OSCVI Student


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