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The Eastbridge Neighbourhood Association Board of Directors

322 Schooner Crescent
Waterloo, ON, N2K 4M6

Eastbridge Neighbourhood Association

Lester B Pearson Boundary

Eastbridge NA

The Waterloo District Regional School Board Trustees have voted in favour of constructing a JK-6 School behind Schooner Crescent in Eastbridge to change the Lester B Pearson boundary and address the overpopulation at LBP. This is in tentative stages as final approvals etc are still necessary later this month, and it would be scheduled to open September 2010. At the WRDSB meeting Monday night, many concerned Eastbridge residents pulled together to voice their opinions and the Trustees listened! Further details will be in the September edition of the Insight, the deadline had passed by many weeks to include anything in the June edition that is currently being delivered to every home. Below is Chairperson Cindy Watkin's presentation to the School Board which sums up the scenarios and concerns: Presentation Regarding the LBP Boundary Review, Monday, June 2, 2008 Good evening, Madame Chair and Trustees, thank you for the opportunity to present tonight. I have the distinct privilege of being here with three "hats" on; as a member of the Boundary Study Working Group, Chairperson of the Eastbridge Neighbourhood Association and concerned parent. I'd like to address the three scenarios from the Report to Committee of the Whole:

Scenario 1a - To build a JK-6 school east of University Ave East In a nutshell, folks do not want their children leaving the Eastbridge community to cross University Ave to attend school. Concerns are: 1) Eastbridge residents were assured when they bought their homes that there would be schools a safe walking distance and within the boundary of the Eastbridge community. This vibrant, spirited, caring community would be divided. 2) University Avenue is an extremely busy, speed ridden road, our home backs onto it and I can attest to that. Large trucks and commuters use it daily, crossing medians have been demolished. The Report of Committee says that "a parallel situation existed for crossing Bridge Street when LBP opened" (page 4), but as a four lane, straightaway road in my opinion, there is no comparison at all. Safety is of a major concern and rightly so. 3) The population numbers at LBP would again increase as folks enroll their kids in French Immersion to keep them there, possibly even when the children aren't suited to the program and once more creating an issue with high numbers at LBP. 4) Why consider the future growth of the rural east lands when it hasn't even been officially designated by the City of Waterloo as residential? This just does not make sense. The Report to Committee actually states when discussing the Schooner option that it is "somewhat removed from the rural east lands." (page 3) well, for Eastbridge children to go over to this location is also "somewhat removed"! Some of the alternative options discussed at the working group were; could bussed students go to Elizabeth Ziegler PS who needs students? Could our 7&8s attend Lincoln Heights? Would a portapack on site be possible? Could French Immersion be moved? As well, many folks are concerned about Colonial Acres' students coming to overpopulated LBP. We heartily suggested a school be built in their neighbourhood, solving both the LBP number issue, giving them a school nearby and also including the Kraus Drive students in the mix. We were told there was no land available for this. I must ask though, were all of these possibilities completely exhausted? Could there be a possible solution in the mix? Scenario#2 - An Addition to LBP To construct an addition to LBP has come up as the preferred option by many people I've spoken to and at the public meetings it was evident. A bit of preliminary research shows that WT Townshend PS in Kitchener had 780 students enrolled last September, even with the additional school built nearby. LBP is effectively handling 1000 already; quite frankly I think this is a testament to the WRDSB, Principal Donna Robinson and Faye Lootsma before her, to the Vice Principals, teachers and staff! It is a school filled with spirit and caring individuals who give of their all each and every day for the students and families of Eastbridge! The Report to Committee actually sums this scenario nicely: "Aside from the site issues a facility of this size will raise, many of these concerns would be resolved by an addition, which would include additional core facilities including a third gym or multipurpose room." (page 3) Scenario #5- A JK-6 School built at Schooner This land is already "on hold" for an additional public school in Eastbridge so obviously it was planned for originally, and some folks have indicated they'd prefer their children attend a smaller school within the community making this too, a viable option. Why not create additional stories in the plan if the site isn't perfect, or maybe locate another piece of land WITHIN the boundaries of Eastbridge? This location could also keep both LBP and this school within the guideline of 600 students from the Good Schools Standing Report. If there is development in the rural east lands in the future, why not have those children attend this location if there is no threshold there for another school? Why displace hundreds of our children to that location in the meantime? In closing, I thank you for the opportunity to speak this evening. While I am not a planning expert, I do know the residents of Eastbridge and they have entrusted me to bring forth their opinions. I have done my best to do so over the last five months as well as here tonight. I do believe you will consider all of the data, input and opinions to come up with a creative, thoughtful resolution, one that benefits the families who have put their trust in you as elected officials, and one that suits our community. Thanks again! Cindy Watkin