Stephen Street decision approaches

Geoff Baskwill, School Council Chair, ADHS

Next Tuesday night the Mississippi Mills Committee of the Whole will be discussing a topic that every parent in town should take note of.  If you have a child in school, and that child will be going to ADHS when they get to Grade 7, read on.

In December 2011, a committee of parents, students, and teachers came up with a set of recommendations for what should happen at Almonte District High School as part of its transition to a Grade 7-12 school.  One of those recommendations was to close part of Stephen Street so that students would have a bit more usable space.  As one parent said, 
“It’s ridiculous.  If you were to build a school today, you wouldn’t have a road going through the middle.  Nobody would stand for it.”

Town Councillors and staff had a number of good questions about the plan, and staff at the School Board have been working together with Town and County staff over the last 18 months to answer those questions.  Topics as diverse as bus routes, emergency access, snow removal, and parking were brought up and addressed.  All of the questions to date have been addressed, and a conceptual plan has been drawn up for the Town Council’s review.

Members of the ADHS School Council have heard that not all of our Town Councillors are in support of this plan, and some may vote against it.  Some councillors have said that students in Grade 7 should be capable of crossing the street.  Respectfully, crossing the street is not the issue.  We would like to make our school a better place for students, and the proposal we have seen from the School Board makes a lot of sense. 
 

Concept drawing of the proposed changes around ADHS"
Concept drawing of the proposed changes around ADHS”

There is more parking for students and staff, significant improvements in the bus routing that take the bus parking off the streets, a basketball court and more green space for students, and a signaled crosswalk across Martin Street.

Take a look at the concept drawing below and come to your own conclusions.  Get in touch with your councillor, it’s as easy as sending a quick email or making a short phone call to ask them where they stand and why.  If you don’t know who your councillor is, check the Town website.  They will be making a decision on Tuesday, June 25th, so make your voice heard.