Further to my open letter to #RBE, another open letter to @PremierBradWall

the regina mom attended a public meeting with representatives of the Regina Board of Education regarding Ecole Connaught Community School.  The following open letter to the Premier follows the open letter to the RBE published in the Regina Leader Post earlier this week.

Dear Mr. Premier,

No doubt my constant challenges and snide remarks on Twitter are annoying to you and your staff.  That’s kind of the point, you know.  It was always tit-for-tat in my family of origin.  Yes, I do try to be a better person now, but sometimes I fall back into old patterns.

It seems the Regina Board of Education (RBE) is also falling back into old patterns.  Yet again, they’re trying to dupe the Cathedral community.  Through years of neglect, the RBE has created a crisis at Ecole Connaught Community School.  Two construction firms with which the RBE conducts regular business have declared the school to be in such terrible shape that the cost to fix it is prohibitive.  Yet, neither of those firms are known as experts in the area of heritage buildings.  In fact, both P3 Architects and J.C. Kenyon are known for their involvement in new builds in the province.  Are there no conflict of interest guidelines within the Ministries of Education or Highways & Infrastructure for local school boards to follow?

And so, based on questionable data, the RBE decided that a rebuild is the only option and will proceed to convince you and your government to fund it.  This is in direct opposition to what residents and the school community have requested.  The RBE has furthermore refused to work with the community and allow heritage conservationists, funded by private citizens, into the school to conduct tests and to provide expert opinions on the matter.  I therefore hold to what I stated in a March 2013 letter to you regarding this matter,

As a 25-year resident of the area I draw on my fundamental human right, as guaranteed by the United Nations, to insist you preserve the building. The real value of Connaught has not been properly assessed. The non-market aesthetic, cultural and other values of a refurbished school have not been properly accounted for. Furthermore, the environmental, social, and economic cost-benefit analysis of alternatives requested in public consultation meetings have not been addressed – in essence, the impacts of redevelopment on our community, our property values, our local businesses, our environment and other amenities such as the Connaught library have not been properly assessed nor communicated to local residents.

It is time for the Province of Saskatchewan to insist that the Regina Board of Education take its fiduciary responsibility seriously.  But to do so, the Province must take seriously its role as Steward of a nationally-recognized historic school.

Really, Mr. Premier, there is an easy fix for this.  Send the RBE back to the drawing board.  Otherwise, according to the rumblings I heard tonight, you’d best be prepared for lawsuits.  And, quite possibly, for me to fall back into old habits.

Sincerely,

B. L. Wagner
Regina SK

cc: Minister of Education
Deputy Minister of Education
Minister of Highways & Infrastructure
Deputy Minister of Highways & Infrastructure
Regina Board of Education Trustees
Regina Leader Post
Prairie Dog
Metro News
Save Our Connaught
Real Renewal

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3 Comments

  1. Bernadette,
    Your letter is inaccurate.

    Moose Jaw Courthouse

    Architectural Conservation Alliance (ACA) – an ongoing joint venture collaboration between P3Architecture Partnership and Jonathan Yardley Architect Inc. providing focused heritage conservation expertise throughout Saskatchewan – has been selected to oversee the restoration of the Moose Jaw Courthouse. The courthouse has significant historical importance as it is the oldest continuously functioning building of its kind in Saskatchewan. As such it was designated a National Historic Site in 1981 and a Provincial Heritage Property in 1988. A recent ceiling collapse in the court room, and subsequent damage by the sprinkler system, have revealed many of the original features of the large open volume that had been masked by previous renovations. As the project progresses the design will aim to restore the building to the intentions of the original design, while also upgrading performance and maintaining the beauty, quality, and functionality of the building for years to come.

    Reply
  2. Municipal Heritage Awards

    P3A has won a 2014 Municipal Heritage Award for the new entrance to the Walter Scott Building. The awards aim to recognize individuals and organizations that are committed to preserving Regina’s heritage. The awards recognize a range of contributions from built projects to volunteer involvement. P3A accepted the honours at an awards ceremony which is held on an annual basis at the City Council meeting closest to National Heritage Day.

    The Walter Scott Building was recognized for its architecturally sensitive addition to the existing building. Throughout the design and construction of the rehabilitation project, P3A worked diligently to preserve the character of the existing building. This project has been a multi-year restoration of the masonry envelop of the building in as well as interior renovations and the award winning entrance addition.

    Bernadette,
    I am disappointed you would not inquire with us as to the extent of our heritage expertise or experience. You may not know we just restored the Court of Queens Bench on Victoria Avenue as well. This was a complete building envelop restoration updating a classic late century modern building in the City through a complete envelop upgrade while retaining all of the architectural elements. This was a complex masonry restoration project. Call me, one of our experts would be pleased to provide you with more technical information. Perhaps we can show you more images of the 100 year old Lyric Theatre restoration we are conducting in Swift Current. You may recall this as one of a couple of dozen heritage restoration projects we had on the display board at the public meeting you attended in spring of 2012. I recall you were at the meeting.

    Regards,
    James

    Reply
  3. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This sort
    of clever work and reporting! Keep up the good works guys I’ve you guys to my own blogroll.

    Reply

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