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Letter: Reopening of the Dunn, fact or fiction?
Tom Brason for local2 sault ste. marie
June 4th, 2012 at 1:30pm
Sir James Dunn is reopening according to rumour mills! The latest gossip has it housing all ‘Continuing Ed’ programs as well as a daycare for the children. Wasn’t part of the boards rational for tearing down Bawating and building Superior Heights the prohibitive cost of bringing the Dunn up to standards and the need for a more centralized school?
With the much newer Alexander Henry slated for closing at the end of June after roughly five million of our tax dollars was spent on upgrades over the last few years, what’s going on here? The Henry is much newer than the Dunn, it’s got ready to move into class rooms, shops, two (2) daycare facilities, a kitchen that supplies food to the daycare and hey...it’s central to boot. You can’t get much more central than the Henry, smack in the middle of shopping and on the cross roads of all our major thoroughfares, a tremendous advantage to those participating in the Continuing Ed programs where transportation is a factor.
Somehow this wouldn’t make a whole whack of sense, we’ve the Henry with all the criteria for this adult program being shut down after extensive monies were spent on it already and a Board of Education talking about re-opening the Dunn a year or so after telling us it was an unaffordable liability, the asbestos removal alone too expensive.
The Dunn hasn’t become any more central, the “prohibitive” amount to bring it up to snuff in all probability will be out of this world after a year of vacancy and vandalism and the overall longevity of the Dunn must be a contributing factor, shutting down a more modern efficient building and pouring money into one with very little remaining shelf life isn’t reasonable.
The latest buzz has Algoma University, a privately run entity, interested in a small portion of the Dunn’s facilities because of proximity, fueling suspicions this potential move may be one much out of accommodation at a tremendous expense to the taxpayer. The adult education program which does need attention because of existing facilities must be dealt with on its own merit with the primary focus in the best interest of the taxpayers and the students, not simply a contributing means of obtaining funding if this is the case.
Apparently these items have been the subject of board discussions so will the board please clear the air and inform the public before any rash decisions are made and wheels put in motion.
Sault Ste Marie, On.