Fix Our Schools met with both NDP Education Critic Lisa Gretzky and PC Education Critic Garfield Dunlop in recent weeks. Both education critics agreed the $14.7-billion issue of disrepair in public schools affects students and families across the province and must be addressed.
Lisa Gretzky recollected a school’s gym ceiling falling in during her tenure as a School Board Trustee in Windsor. Luckily, no students were injured in this incident but it underscores the importance of keeping public schools in a state of good repair.
The health, safety and achievement of students is impacted by the outstanding repairs and maintenance plaguing Ontario’s public schools.
Several schools in Ward 7 have struggled with heating issues this winter…
Western Tech, UFA, The Student School, and Humberside have all been closed at least one day due to heating issues. The TDSB has been quick to complete the required repairs. However, the cost of these emergency repairs will impact the ability to complete planned repairs as the TDSB struggles to address over $3-billion of outstanding repairs with the $75-million of funding provided by the Province this year for repairs.
Yes – this thermometer reads about 10 degrees and is inside a classroom!
While Runnymede P.S. hasn’t been closed at all this winter, some classroom temperatures have been operating at unacceptable temperatures. Yes – the photo to the left, showing a temperature of around 10 degrees, was taken inside a classroom. Oddly, other classrooms have been so hot that students wear t-shirts.
While repair people have been at the school regularly, heating at this 99-year old building remains an ongoing challenge. With a new boiler installed last year, the root cause of these unacceptable temperatures is a mystery. What is no mystery is that a complete resolution of this issue would likely be expensive.
Upcoming winters aren’t looking so great for Ward 7 schools either, given the following facts:
As of April 2014, almost 80% of the $73-million in outstanding repairs across Ward 7 schools were assessed as urgent or high priority by consultants working on behalf of the Ministry of Education. The 43 urgent repairs all fall into one of the following four categories: fire suppression and alarm systems; electrical systems; heating/cooling systems; and structural (foundations and stairs mainly). These urgent items are not as apparent as leaky roofs but if they fail before repairs can be done, the safety risk is far greater. All this to say that our request stands for emergency funding from the Province to address urgent repairs across all TDSB schools, as well as all leaking roofs.