I spoke at the YRDSB Meeting with fellow Councillors and residents in regards to the need for a new High School on the Bayview Ave lands. Here is what I said:
“Good evening Madam Chair, members of the board and members of the public, my name is Tom Mrakas and I am a Councillor for the Town of Aurora. I would like to start off by stating that while I am here in my capacity as a Town Councillor, my statements today are my own. I do not represent Aurora Council as a whole or speak for any of my colleagues on Council.
With that said I would like to say that I am in full support of the need for a new High School on the lands at Bayview Ave.
Frankly, I think it only makes sense.
Just look at the numbers.
Based on the Regions projections, Aurora is expected to grow to around 70,000 residents by 2031. That’s 10,000 more people than we currently have, right now. It’s clear, to me at least, that those numbers support the need for another school in aurora..
Unfortunately, the current Ministry Policy doesn’t consider future growth projections when deciding whether to build a new school or not. It only looks at capacity. And too my mind, this is short sighted.
This forces us to be reactive rather than proactive – and that is not effective planning.
Right now, Aurora has two public high schools. Thus, based on the current Ministry policy, we will have to wait until both schools reach capacity before a business case for a new high school can even be put forward. And even then, as our Trustee has told us, the business case rarely succeeds on a first try. So Once it is finally accepted, it takes on average 4 years to build a school.
And By the time this whole process is complete, best case, it would be 8 – 10 years from now. And by then, it’s conceivable, that two generations of kids will have spent at least part of their highschool years in portables.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We could plan for the future, now.
I would respectfully ask that this Board consider the data and information that will be presented here tonight by Councillors, by parents, and by concerned residents.
Consider the business case, that is being made for another high school. – the common sense case really…
Yes, there will be need in the future, but there is need now as well.
And we should be planning to meet those needs today.
Thank you ”