Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fred Fedorak: Letter to School District 67 Trustees

The following letter was sent to the trustees for School District 67. It was also reprinted in the Herald on 11 April, 2007.

Dear School District No. 67 Trustee,

I was very disappointed to learn that the School Board, although extending the deadline for a plan to save the auditorium, is not interested at all in the future of the Pen Hi gymnasium. Why bring forth a deadline to save one and not the other?

I am requesting the Board reconsider this decision and take a very serious look at how the loss of the gym will impact the community. Please consider the community as a whole on this matter and not just the position of the School District. Local residents pay taxes that go into school, as well as municipal, coffers. So in a sense the community has a vested interest in those buildings.

I am well aware of the Board’s decision to provide an excellent double sized new gym complete with weight room and in accordance with the Ministry of Education regulations. You are to be commended for your decision and the numerous hours that you have spent going over the plans for the new facility. However, this new gym is primarily for student use. The community in all probability will not have access to this facility because during the winter months it is fully scheduled for student activities. At the present time I understand that the Community Centre gym is overused during this same high season period. As a result of the planned demolitions, the community as a whole will be hard pressed to provide spaces for recreational activities and performing arts.

I believe that with some creativity the parking and bus loading areas can be reconfigured to accommodate your safety concerns. Where there is a will there is a way! We are not studying buildings that are past their usefulness and ready for the landfill, as they have several years of productive use left in them.

Project to the future and visualize the negative impact that the demolition of these two buildings will have on the community of Penticton. Visualize also the positive impact for the local citizens by turning them over to the City of Penticton to operate. With the present financial situation of City Council I cannot see enough funds being made available for the replacement of the aforesaid facilities in the next decade. We really won’t know what we have lost until these buildings have disappeared.

Respectfully submitted,
Fred Fedorak

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