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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2012, 7:36 PM
urban_planner urban_planner is offline
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I really don't understand why they dont take the top half of 100 King w(Stelco Tower). Its all vacant.
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2012, 2:05 AM
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We need to get the province back into the mix...let them know there are cheaper options downtown, like 100 King W for example. Then we need to convince Mac that they don't have to demo the BoE building. Actually, screw the whole thing, let's get our money back and walk away from the deal. In the long run, it's the smart move.
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 3:07 AM
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The School Board and City Council have both approved a motion to create a task force to explore other downtown headquarter options. Think the report should be completed with a month.
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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 3:18 AM
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Trustees vote to look at keeping board offices in core

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...ffices-in-core

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has agreed to partner with the city to explore options that would keep the education centre downtown.

Trustees voted 8-2 Monday night to form a task force with the city to investigate a second tower at City Hall or other sites in the core as potential locations for its new headquarters.

The task force, which will consist of board members and city councillors, will report back with its findings in a month. The costs will be covered by the city, through accessing ward funds.

The motion came in the wake of a presentation by councillors Jason Farr and Brian McHattie, who urged trustees to reconsider their decision to build the board’s new $31-million headquarters at the former Crestwood school site on the Mountain.

“Consider a future surrounded by businesses large and small,” Farr told the board. “Consider the future of our downtown and where we’re headed.”

The two councillors also reminded trustees the public — that is, “the vast majority” of businesses and residents — is behind the cause.

The public school board is “a major part of downtown,” said Farr. “This is an important opportunity, I think, for all of us.”

The board’s decision, however, appears to clash with an update from board staff also presented to trustees Monday night.

That report details several roadblocks with the City Hall option that came out of a meeting with city staff last week, such as the fact the entire site has a heritage designation that would affect the planning, design and approval of a new board HQ at that site.

Current zoning, moreover, doesn’t permit the proposed building development there, and zoning amendments could take months, according to the report.

For McHattie, however, it’s a moot point.

“We’re aware that there are some concerns about the planning issues,” he said. But those are issues “the City of Hamilton controls.”

“The heritage, the zoning, you have support from council,” added Farr, who also assured the board an inexpensive long-term land lease for the City Hall site could be secured.

“It’s safe to say our monetary expectations are not high,” he said.

While a majority of trustees were behind the city’s plea to reconsider downtown options, there were, nonetheless, some reservations.

“What took you so long?” asked board chair Tim Simmons. “Why now, at the 11th hour, when we already have legal agreements in place?”

Trustee Alex Johnstone, meanwhile, said she was concerned that McMaster University is already “feeling very frustrated” with delays to the sale of the board’s downtown education centre — a condition of the board’s move to a new headquarters.

Mac is in the final stages of negotiations to purchase the board’s current home at 100 Main St. W. Once that deal is complete, the university plans to demolish the Education Centre to make way for a new $85-million health campus in the core.

Both the school board and McMaster plan to move into their new homes in 2014.
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 8:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban_planner View Post
I really don't understand why they dont take the top half of 100 King w(Stelco Tower). Its all vacant.
I agree. This is a better idea than a second tower at City Hall (though it would be amazing to see that happen at some point).

I seriously doubt their claims that building new and owning is cheaper than leasing long term. There is no analysis to back up that claim. If they leased Jackson Square and / or the Stelco Tower, kept / renovated their existing premises, and invested the savings (about $20 million), they would have enough space for all of their operations.

Invest the $20M savings at an average of 5% for the 25 year study period and you more than triple that money, while paying a discounted lease rate and leaving the maintenance to someone else. And coming out of that with an appreciating asset at 100 Main. Compared to building a high maintenance shitbox that would cost as much to clear the goddamn snow from the parking lot every year. Wonder why this analysis doesn't exist?

I wouldn't be surprised if they could even find a solution for fleet maintenance near jackson square, with all the wasted land available in the vicinity. I'm generally opposed to low value added automotive land uses downtown, but how much fleet does the school board even have? I'm sure all the bus services, snow removal and heavy operations are contracted out. It's probably equivalent to one of the car rental outlets on Main East.

They could even call this a consolidated facility. The walk from Main and Bay to Jackson Square is shorter than from the outer 480th parking space to the furthest corner of the proposed Crestwood site.
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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2012, 1:51 AM
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West harbour floated as possible site for new education centre

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...ucation-centre

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board chair Tim Simmons says a newly formed task force should reconsider the west harbour as a possible home for the board’s new headquarters.

“I think it’s something we could ask about,” Simmons said Thursday. “We were very excited about that option.”

In 2010, the board ranked the site among the top three locations for its new education centre, but the high cost of remediating the industrial lands — estimated to be anywhere between $3 million and $37 million — ultimately led it to select the former Crestwood school site near Mohawk and Upper Wentworth for its new $31-million headquarters instead.

Now that the board has agreed to partner with the city to look into options in the core, however, the four-hectare property deserves another look — at least according to Simmons.

The west harbour, he said, has always had appeal for the board. In addition to its central location, it could also house both the board’s administrative and maintenance operations, something the city’s preferred option — a second tower behind City Hall — can’t accommodate.

Moreover, the nearly $1 million already invested in consultations and planning for the Crestwood facility wouldn’t go to waste, since the development also fits within the Barton-Tiffany neighbourhood.

Councillor Jason Farr — who, along with Councillor Brian McHattie, is behind the city’s last-minute push to keep the board in the core — said he’s willing to explore the option.

“If chair Simmons wants to entertain that or any other location, well then obviously, the task force will entertain it,” Farr said. “I’ll talk about the west harbour, I’ll talk about the second tower — I’ll talk about anything. You pick a block where it’s feasible and we’ll throw it out there for the task force to digest.”

McHattie, meanwhile, is open to considering the option, but said he’d prefer the board to stay in “the downtown proper.”

He also noted additional challenges with the harbour site, cleanup costs notwithstanding.

Recently, for instance, the Ontario Municipal Board backed a city proposal for commercial and residential development in the area, which means the site would have to be rezoned before the school board could put shovels in the ground.

The city would also stand to lose valuable tax dollars if the proposed development is axed, since the school board is exempt from paying municipal taxes.

The education centre task force, which will be assembled with members of city council and trustees in the coming days, is to report back to the board with its findings in a month.
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2012, 2:16 PM
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Gaaaaawwwwwwd!

NO to the Mountain and NO to the West Harbour.

Let's stop fooling around and start looking at some real options DOWNTOWN.
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2012, 4:12 PM
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Originally Posted by pEte fiSt iN Ur fAce View Post
Gaaaaawwwwwwd!

NO to the Mountain and NO to the West Harbour.

Let's stop fooling around and start looking at some real options DOWNTOWN.
Absolutely! Wake up people! it's a no brainer as to what is best for our community.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2012, 5:03 PM
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Yeah, please don't waste the west harbour land by putting in 400 surface parking spaces for the school board.
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2012, 2:43 AM
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Downtown ed centre task force assembled

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...orce-assembled

The task force created to scout downtown locations for the public school board’s new headquarters will only meet “a couple” of times before reporting back to trustees.

But for Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board chair Tim Simmons, that’s all the time needed to explore available options in the core.

“I think it is, because of who’s involved in the task force,” he said. The city’s willingness to offer assistance to the board — something Simmons said was lacking when the board first looked into downtown properties several years ago — will also help the process along.

“That might be the difference,” he said.

The seven-person task force was assembled last week on a volunteer basis. Councillors Jason Farr and Brian McHattie, along with city manager Chris Murray, will head up the search on the city’s side, while Simmons, trustee Karen Turkstra, education director John Malloy and architect Paul Sapounzi, who’s behind the plans for the new headquarters, will round out the task force for the board.

They won’t formally meet until later this month in order to give Murray and his staff some time to gather information about potential sites, Simmons said.

Several of the group’s members, along with McMaster’s vice-president administration, Roger Couldrey, met informally and in private last Friday to finalize the task force makeup and strategy. Other issues, such as swing space and the sale of the downtown Education Centre, were also discussed, according to a university spokesperson.

Between now and the initial meeting, Simmons said, Malloy will provide the city with some possible scenarios to work with, such as a two-site model that would allow the board’s administrative headquarters to remain in the core while facilities management would continue to operate out of the former Crestwood school site on the Mountain.

Another option — consistent with the board’s current plan to build its new, $31-million headquarters at Crestwood — is to find a location that will allow for consolidation of office staff and maintenance operations at a single site.

The school board backed the task force at the request of Farr and McHattie, who urged trustees last Monday to reconsider their decision to build the new education centre on the Mountain. Any costs associated with the search for downtown sites will be covered by the city, through accessing ward funds.

Task force members are expected to report back to trustees with their findings no later than April 16.
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2012, 2:45 AM
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Downtown McMaster health campus debate delayed

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...debate-delayed

At the eleventh hour, the city is reaching out to two more downtown properties for bids on the downtown health campus “swing space.”

Councillors were scheduled to make a decision about the so-called swing space, a crucial piece of the three-way deal between the city, McMaster University and the public school board, on Tuesday. However, city staff postponed the meeting with little explanation.

The Spectator has learned that city staff have reached out to the Right House, the home of the city’s public health department, and the City Centre, which houses other city staff, to gauge whether the properties would meet the city and school board’s needs.

Meanwhile, McMaster is reiterating its calls for a final decision on the swing space issue by the end of this week. Otherwise, officials say they will be forced to reconsider the deal for the downtown health education centre entirely.
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  #32  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 12:34 AM
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Searching for a board home downtown

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...-home-downtown

Parking, accessibility and a downtown location are some of the factors to be taken into consideration the search for the public school board’s new home.

Establishing a list of criteria, which also includes the possibility of school board ownership, parameters around use of space and a focus on city-owned sites, was the first chore for the joint city-public school board task force at its inaugural meeting Wednesday morning.

The criteria are expected to help city staff narrow down viable scenarios for school board locations in the core.

The task force, which consists of trustees Karen Turkstra and Tim Simmons as well as councillors Brian McHattie and Jason Farr, was assembled earlier this month at the request of the city, which has urged the board to explore options for staying downtown.

The school board’s current plan calls for its new $31 million education centre to be built at the former Crestwood school site on the Mountain. The board will vacate its current home at 100 Main St. W. this summer so McMaster can begin work on its new downtown health campus which will be built on that site.

The city is scheduled to report back to the school board Apr. 16 with information on viable downtown options. The task force will meet next on Apr. 5.
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2012, 3:59 PM
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haha, I doubt it's a coincidence that parking is the first item in that sentence.

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Parking, accessibility and a downtown location are some of the factors to be taken into consideration the search for the public school board’s new home.
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2012, 5:26 AM
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Yeah, obsessed with parking much?? Get over it already...as if that's gonna ever happen here.
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2012, 6:58 PM
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Next week is gonna be an intense one. Lots of meetings to strike a deal.
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  #36  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2012, 12:48 AM
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Any predictions?

I just can't imagine the Board staying downtown; it would be such an about-face. If they do stay, it'll involve lots of parking, one way or another.
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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2012, 3:56 AM
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The NDP Board will move to the mtn. They have wanted to be there for more than 6 years.

Last edited by realcity; Apr 1, 2012 at 1:56 PM.
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  #38  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2012, 2:39 PM
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I think they'll strike a deal but it'll cost the city more money to keep them downtown. But that shouldn't too much of an issue since the city got to save $20 million from the downtown McMaster campus deal.
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  #39  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2012, 2:49 PM
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And if the board sells the Crestwood site to developers, the city will gain new tax revenue from the houses.
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  #40  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2012, 3:29 PM
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And if the Board sells their head office to Mac we will not get any new taxes because neither pay taxes. O that already happened. Where is the good part again? The part that we're spending $10mil to get nothing in return. Or lose about as much as we gain, called zero sum gain. Nice investment.
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