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Earl of March 7-12 Transition Update – March 25 public meeting

A public meeting was held on Monday, March 25 at the Earl of March to discuss potential options for the location of the grade 7-8 addition.  This project has a budget of approximately $10.7 million and an extremely tight timeline.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 and public input on the location of the addition, facilities, etc. has begun.  These high level decisions need to be made by June 2013 to keep the project on track.

Three locations were presented by the School Board’s Facilities staff and parents were able to ask clarifying questions and express their concerns.  In general terms, Option 1 is located off the existing classroom wing, towards the Parkway; Option 2 is located by the staff parking lot close to the Beaverbrook library; Option 3 is located by the auditorium and music rooms.

Principal Jon Harris of Earl of March gave a very high level overview of some pros and cons associated with each option.  The evening wrapped up with parents forming break-out groups facilitated by Transition Team members.  At this time, parents could articulate their list of needs, desires, and concerns regarding the addition options and have their opinions documented for review by the Transition Team and the Planning department.  Some of the recurring themes included disruption of high school students during construction, disruption of high school students when intermediate students are moving through classroom hallways (Option 1), segregation of intermediate students (Option 3), office location, lowest cost versus best decisions for the long term, proximity of traffic for new library (Option 2), proximity of outdoor recess space, preserving current outdoor playing fields, the need for a full size gym, library space for grade 7-8 students, design and tech, and music.  There was also discussion with regards to growth in Kanata and the location of future portables.

An informal show of hands indicated a consensus that Option 3 was the preferred location.

The Board’s website (http://www.ocdsb.ca/sch/Pages/EarlofMarchAddition.aspx) will soon post details of the presentation, including the three options for the addition’s location.  This page will have all information pertaining to the addition, so please bookmark it.  If you were unable to attend the March 25 meeting and would like to submit your comments to the Board’s Planning department, please send an e-mail to earlofmarchssaddition@ocdsb.ca.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Stephen Leacock representatives on the Transition Team:  Mary Vincent (maryandian@sympatico.ca) or Carrie Marr (2carrie@rogers.c0m).

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