Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School could become a community hub after it closes

News Jun 03, 2016 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

The process of transforming Senhor Santo Cristo (SSC) Catholic School into a buzzing community hub is starting to take shape.

At a community meeting held at SSC Wednesday, June 1 night, Ward 9 trustee Jo-Ann Davis gave roughly 30 community members an update on which community partners are interested in using the space.

“We have this amazing space we’d like to turn into something the community can really benefit from,” Davis said.

Davis informed the community that since SSC is considered a Core Hold school, should other schools need to use the site as an overflow location that option is still possible. There’s also a lot of young families in the area and the board is expecting SSC to be used in the next decade or so.

Many of the residents in attendance were pleased to hear the land would not be sold off to the highest bidder to build a condo, but instead stay in public hands. It’s a goal Davis set out to accomplish from the moment school accommodation reviews began regarding closing either St. Luke Catholic School or SSC last summer.

As a result of the accommodation review, SSC will close its doors as a school this June. In September, students will merge with St. Luke on Ossington Avenue under a new school name to be announced later this summer.

The agencies interested so far in using the property, such as The Toronto Fringe, the Brantwood Theatre Company and the Children’s Discovery Centre were in attendance to give the community an idea of how they’d use the 50,000 square-foot space.

Davis made it clear to the community that funding to maintain the school will be footed by the partners who chose to sign on long-term.

“We don’t get funding from the Ministry (of Education) for this because otherwise it comes out of student programming or something else, so we want this to be fully funded,” Davis explained.

“That’s why the rates for partners cover costs the building, like maintenance. That’s why we’re trying to use as much of the school as possible, so it can cover those renewal and maintenance costs.”

So far no partners have been signed on as of yet, Davis said, but there are some logistical matters to attend to first. One of them is seeking a zoning amendment the Toronto Catholic School Board (TCDSB) has to request from the city. Although the land will remain as is, Davis said, the board still needs to seek a zoning amendment to allow additional uses related to non-profit art spaces, studio space, community uses, youth and senior services, and other similar uses within the existing school building at 30 and 66 Humbert St.

The community seemed to be open and interested in housing the Children’s Discovery Centre, a play-based learning centre for children from infants to six years old in the building. It currently occupies the space at Strachan Avenue near Liberty Village and will continue to do so until July 31. Until then, its founder Jeanhy Shim, is in the market for a new space and to expand the centre to have portions for children ages seven to 12.

But residents did have concerns about security and whether or not an on-site management plan is in place, all of which Davis said would be worked out with the individual partners and the TCDSB board once they get closer to deciding which partners will use the space. It’s still too early to know what measures will need to be taken.

“Clearly the board has ways of managing that and we will want to ensure that we’re both responsive to the tenants and responsive to the community,” Davis told The Villager.

The community will be updated in the fall about the progress of the zoning amendment, Davis assured the crowd. But for now the decision to choose which partners use all three levels of the school needs more careful consideration to make sure it’s a good fit for the community.

“It’s something the community wanted to happen once we made the decision about the merger and I’m just glad we were able to make good on our community commitment,” Davis said.

Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School could become a community hub after it closes

News Jun 03, 2016 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

The process of transforming Senhor Santo Cristo (SSC) Catholic School into a buzzing community hub is starting to take shape.

At a community meeting held at SSC Wednesday, June 1 night, Ward 9 trustee Jo-Ann Davis gave roughly 30 community members an update on which community partners are interested in using the space.

“We have this amazing space we’d like to turn into something the community can really benefit from,” Davis said.

Davis informed the community that since SSC is considered a Core Hold school, should other schools need to use the site as an overflow location that option is still possible. There’s also a lot of young families in the area and the board is expecting SSC to be used in the next decade or so.

Many of the residents in attendance were pleased to hear the land would not be sold off to the highest bidder to build a condo, but instead stay in public hands. It’s a goal Davis set out to accomplish from the moment school accommodation reviews began regarding closing either St. Luke Catholic School or SSC last summer.

As a result of the accommodation review, SSC will close its doors as a school this June. In September, students will merge with St. Luke on Ossington Avenue under a new school name to be announced later this summer.

The agencies interested so far in using the property, such as The Toronto Fringe, the Brantwood Theatre Company and the Children’s Discovery Centre were in attendance to give the community an idea of how they’d use the 50,000 square-foot space.

Davis made it clear to the community that funding to maintain the school will be footed by the partners who chose to sign on long-term.

“We don’t get funding from the Ministry (of Education) for this because otherwise it comes out of student programming or something else, so we want this to be fully funded,” Davis explained.

“That’s why the rates for partners cover costs the building, like maintenance. That’s why we’re trying to use as much of the school as possible, so it can cover those renewal and maintenance costs.”

So far no partners have been signed on as of yet, Davis said, but there are some logistical matters to attend to first. One of them is seeking a zoning amendment the Toronto Catholic School Board (TCDSB) has to request from the city. Although the land will remain as is, Davis said, the board still needs to seek a zoning amendment to allow additional uses related to non-profit art spaces, studio space, community uses, youth and senior services, and other similar uses within the existing school building at 30 and 66 Humbert St.

The community seemed to be open and interested in housing the Children’s Discovery Centre, a play-based learning centre for children from infants to six years old in the building. It currently occupies the space at Strachan Avenue near Liberty Village and will continue to do so until July 31. Until then, its founder Jeanhy Shim, is in the market for a new space and to expand the centre to have portions for children ages seven to 12.

But residents did have concerns about security and whether or not an on-site management plan is in place, all of which Davis said would be worked out with the individual partners and the TCDSB board once they get closer to deciding which partners will use the space. It’s still too early to know what measures will need to be taken.

“Clearly the board has ways of managing that and we will want to ensure that we’re both responsive to the tenants and responsive to the community,” Davis told The Villager.

The community will be updated in the fall about the progress of the zoning amendment, Davis assured the crowd. But for now the decision to choose which partners use all three levels of the school needs more careful consideration to make sure it’s a good fit for the community.

“It’s something the community wanted to happen once we made the decision about the merger and I’m just glad we were able to make good on our community commitment,” Davis said.

Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School could become a community hub after it closes

News Jun 03, 2016 by Hilary Caton Parkdale Villager

The process of transforming Senhor Santo Cristo (SSC) Catholic School into a buzzing community hub is starting to take shape.

At a community meeting held at SSC Wednesday, June 1 night, Ward 9 trustee Jo-Ann Davis gave roughly 30 community members an update on which community partners are interested in using the space.

“We have this amazing space we’d like to turn into something the community can really benefit from,” Davis said.

Davis informed the community that since SSC is considered a Core Hold school, should other schools need to use the site as an overflow location that option is still possible. There’s also a lot of young families in the area and the board is expecting SSC to be used in the next decade or so.

Many of the residents in attendance were pleased to hear the land would not be sold off to the highest bidder to build a condo, but instead stay in public hands. It’s a goal Davis set out to accomplish from the moment school accommodation reviews began regarding closing either St. Luke Catholic School or SSC last summer.

As a result of the accommodation review, SSC will close its doors as a school this June. In September, students will merge with St. Luke on Ossington Avenue under a new school name to be announced later this summer.

The agencies interested so far in using the property, such as The Toronto Fringe, the Brantwood Theatre Company and the Children’s Discovery Centre were in attendance to give the community an idea of how they’d use the 50,000 square-foot space.

Davis made it clear to the community that funding to maintain the school will be footed by the partners who chose to sign on long-term.

“We don’t get funding from the Ministry (of Education) for this because otherwise it comes out of student programming or something else, so we want this to be fully funded,” Davis explained.

“That’s why the rates for partners cover costs the building, like maintenance. That’s why we’re trying to use as much of the school as possible, so it can cover those renewal and maintenance costs.”

So far no partners have been signed on as of yet, Davis said, but there are some logistical matters to attend to first. One of them is seeking a zoning amendment the Toronto Catholic School Board (TCDSB) has to request from the city. Although the land will remain as is, Davis said, the board still needs to seek a zoning amendment to allow additional uses related to non-profit art spaces, studio space, community uses, youth and senior services, and other similar uses within the existing school building at 30 and 66 Humbert St.

The community seemed to be open and interested in housing the Children’s Discovery Centre, a play-based learning centre for children from infants to six years old in the building. It currently occupies the space at Strachan Avenue near Liberty Village and will continue to do so until July 31. Until then, its founder Jeanhy Shim, is in the market for a new space and to expand the centre to have portions for children ages seven to 12.

But residents did have concerns about security and whether or not an on-site management plan is in place, all of which Davis said would be worked out with the individual partners and the TCDSB board once they get closer to deciding which partners will use the space. It’s still too early to know what measures will need to be taken.

“Clearly the board has ways of managing that and we will want to ensure that we’re both responsive to the tenants and responsive to the community,” Davis told The Villager.

The community will be updated in the fall about the progress of the zoning amendment, Davis assured the crowd. But for now the decision to choose which partners use all three levels of the school needs more careful consideration to make sure it’s a good fit for the community.

“It’s something the community wanted to happen once we made the decision about the merger and I’m just glad we were able to make good on our community commitment,” Davis said.