More on Athabasca School

I love it when people send me emails about the posts that I write. For one thing, it tells me that people are actually reading my blog posts, which makes writing them seem slightly more worthwhile. As well, sometimes people have more information than I do, and I can learn a thing or two. Two weeks ago,  I wrote a post about Athabasca School becoming a Sikh temple, and that the city was not doing a very good job at communicating with citizens in the area regarding this whole  process. Cindy Dyck (who happens to be a former LCA executive member) read my blog post and, as it turns out, also attended the open house. Here is what she had to say about the transfer of Athabasca School to the Sikh Society:

The school and property are owned by Regina Public Schools.  When a school is closed and RPS wants to disperse the property, the City has first right of refusal.  So purchasing the building and property was first offered to the City; they had no plans for the land so refused.    

Following the City’s refusal,  RPS put out the “Request for Proposals”.  This is the point where developers, the Sikh group, etc, submit their “bid” for the property. RPS determines which bid they want to accept (who knows what criteria they’re looking at) and that’s about it.  Once Regina Public Schools decides whose bid they’re accepting, then the city seems to take over with regard to neighbourhood notification, running the open house, etc.  

So you seem to have one group making the decision (RPS) and another group dealing with the public(City of Regina), so it’s no wonder noone can provide answers at the public meetings.  There seems to be quite a void  if you would like to be able to provide input as a community with regard to how the community would like to see the property used.  It appears that the only avenue is to go to the open house after the decision has already been made.  Not a very good system especially if you are at all interested in the growth and vitality of your community.  

 So the moral of the story here is that when it comes to the development of large areas of land in the middle of a neighbourhood, the citizens have no say at all. By the time the public is notified regarding the sale of the land, the deal has already been made. No consultation with citizens. No consultation with the community. Somebody needs to stand up and do something about development issues in our neighbourhood. It won’t be me, because I don’t have the time. But perhaps a new committee will be formed to deal with these issues? (Stay tuned for exiting announcement!)