The following Media Release was issued by the Limestone District School Board:
A number of recent media reports state that the City of Kingston and the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) are in discussions to demolish the existing Memorial Centre arena and other facilities located on the property to build a new secondary school. This is incorrect.
The LDSB is currently reviewing the future program and accommodation needs of some elementary, intermediate and secondary schools in North and Central Kingston. These reviews have included discussions to pursue opportunities and viable financial partnerships that would wholly or in part offset the on-going operating and capital expenses associated with the identified schools. Any partnerships must consider the impact on students and student programming, and be consistent with the education mandate, policies, and strategic plans of the Board. Staff has met with representatives from various organizations, including the City of Kingston, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, St. Lawrence College, Queen’s University and the Kingston Community Health Centres to gather information and to respond to the ideas generated.
The Memorial Centre property was first identified by members of the Kingston North Elementary PARC in October 2011 as a potential site for a new elementary school should Ministry of Education funding be available. The recommendation of a new elementary school building on the Memorial Centre grounds is only one of several potential sites. Other locations identified include the grounds of First Avenue Public School, Queen Elizabeth Collegiate & Vocational Institute and Frontenac Public School. The North Kingston Elementary PARC Final Report (May 2012) includes three options and five additional recommendations.
The Memorial Centre property was also raised by members of the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary PARC in June 2012 as a potential site for a new secondary school should Ministry of Education funding be available. In the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary PARC Final Report (June 2012,) an option for the construction of a new school is one of three recommendations, but no specific site was named.
Board staff will continue to explore opportunities, however, no decisions have been made about school closures, consolidations, or new school construction in either the Kingston North Elementary or Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary program and accommodation reviews. These reviews are ongoing. Additional reports and public meetings will continue this fall. Trustees are not expected to make any final decisions about either Kingston North or Central Kingston reviews until Spring 2013 at the earliest.
Board Chair Helen Chadwick says the misinformation surrounding the Memorial Centre property is regrettable. ?It is unfortunate that inaccurate information was circulated, and we hope we have clarified any resulting confusion or misunderstanding. We appreciate the keen interest and engagement in our program and accommodation reviews as we continue to move forward to ensure all students are best served by our public education system.”
To learn more about either program and accommodation review process, please visit the LDSB website at www.limestone.on.ca and click on the Accommodation (PARC) tab.