Royal City Blogger Niki Hope, who excels at all things educational in her website, has recently posted that the Glenbrook Middle School Parent Advisory Council has passed a resolution that, while focusing on the need for a new High School, also calls for the use of Grimston Park as a school site for a middle school.
While the idea of a school on Grimston has been almost universally reviled by the West End community (see Facebook Page Here) and the need for a middle school is still hotly debated, I don’t personally see why the Glenbrook folks (and fine folks they be, I am sure) would really concern themselves with building a middle school way on the other side of town. Perhaps the Westend folks could suggest the removal of Queens Park in favour of a municipal waste to energy incinerator (you see, I am exaggerating for effect).
The content of the letter is below. I invite all concerned to comment here. I will try to have expounders of the Grimston School topic (for and against) send in comments also.
December 1, 2008
School District #40
1001 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC
Dear Mr. Alkins:
As the Parents’ Advisory Council (PAC) for Glenbrook Middle School, we are writing to you regarding the school construction public consultation process in our City. After significant discussion at our meeting on November 24, 2008, the PAC passed the following motion:
THAT the ÉCOLE GLENBROOK MIDDLE SCHOOL PARENTS’ ADVISORY COUNCIL:
• urges the construction of the high school move forward as soon as possible:
• supports the idea of building a new middle school on the west side; and
• believes that Grimston Park should be considered as an option for that middle school.
In our view, it is absolutely critical that this initiative – AND PARTICULARLY THE HIGH SCHOOL – move ahead as quickly as possible and NOT be allowed to “go back to the drawing board.” Too much time and money have already been spent and further delays will only continue to compromise the education of all our children.
Eagerly awaiting the last official results of the 2008 New Westminster civic elections, we are pleased to relay that the judicial recount for the position of school trustee has been completed. In a message this afternoon from New Westminster Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Doris Fassbender, the results were announced:
Following a two day judicial recount at the BC Provincial Court, New Westminster Registry, Judge Her Honour Alexander declared the results for the office of School Trustee for the 2008 General Local Election for the City of New Westminster. Brent Atkinson received 3665 votes and Vivian Garcia received 3663 votes. Therefore, Brent Atkinson was declared School Trustee-elect.
As reported here, Vivian Garcia was endorsed by re-elected Mayor Wayne Wright.
A small geographical footprint is both one of New Westminster’s charms and one of its challenges. Density is inevitable. Sprawl is not an option. This is great, if you’re assessing public transit feasibility or walkability within the city. It means, however, that options are limited when it comes to new development.
New West has long known it needs new schools. The current high school is in need of upgrades and isn’t adequate to house all of the city’s kids. The original idea was to rebuild on the same site. The catch? Our secondary school is built on an indian burial ground
So, we need new schools. And we can’t build them on the site where NWSS has stood for 60 years in case executed Tsilhqot’in warrior Chief Ahan
was buried there 144 years ago.
While residents would lose some park space (and potentially see more traffic), we have it on good authority that if land for the school is carved out of a park like Grimston, the site would also see upgrades that could offset the loss.
In any case, this is all still tentative. The city is gathering feedback now, so if you want to learn more about the ghost of Chief Ahan or share your opinions on the new school site, there are some important dates to know (all events at the NWSS library):
- Oct. 25 (11am, 1 & 3pm) & Oct. 30 (7pm) (just in time for Halloween!) – Historical research on the cemetery at NWSS.
- Nov. 1 (11am, 1 & 3pm) & Nov. 4 (7:30pm) – Public info sessions on middle school options.