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Banting High School relocation proposal scrutinized during council meeting

December 21, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Eric Penkala

The proposal to relocate Banting Memorial High School received heavy criticism during a New Tecumseth Town Council meeting recently.
Mike Jerry, the chairperson of the Alliston Business Improvement Association, spoke to the council on Nov. 28 and panned the proposal. Jerry said that relocating the school would have a largely negative impact on local businesses that rely on students and staff as a source of income.
Jerry said that the Alliston BIA had sent surveys to businesses in the area to determine how the move would impact their business.
“We got some very quick feedback, primarily from those noontime providers to the students and staff, that this would be a real kick in the shorts,” Jerry told the council.
Jerry cited the results of the survey, where 84 per cent of respondents said the relocation of the school would have a negative effect on their revenues, with 12 per cent claiming that their revenue would decrease by more than half.
Jerry also called the social ramifications of the school’s relocation into question, saying students would be unable to attend their after-school activities without transportation, leading to a loss of student income.
In addition, Jerry was critical of the Simcoe County School Board for lacking the proper data to justify the relocation.
“There is no definitive, true cost that was able to be shared,” Jerry told council. “We received ballpark amounts, but nothing in the true course of business that you’d be able to sign on the dotted line to.”
In closing, Jerry urged the council to supply the Alliston BIA with any data that is gathered during their decision-making process, and reiterated his desire to work with the Simcoe County School Board “for the greater good of all.”
Ward 2 Councillor Michael Beattie also expressed his opposition to the proposal, claiming that de-centralizing the school’s location in Alliston was his primary concern.
“I think it is a short-sighted move,” Beattie said. “Large promise, but it would probably prove to be very poor performance.”
The council voted unanimously to share any information they receive going forward regarding the relocation proposal to the Alliston BIA.


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