Davisville P.S.’s renewal cost vs. height to pay for it

Two years after an accommodation review committee recommended that Davisville Junior P.S. be expanded to meet a projected growth in enrolment, the local school community design team has reached a consensus on a preferred redevelopment option.

The preliminary plan provides for a three-storey school on the southeast quadrant, a residential component of up to 20 storeys on the southwest quadrant and green space on the northern half.

The cash-strapped Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is seeking to partner with a developer in order to fund the revitalization project.

The design team, including parents and local residents, will now seek the support of the broader community in hopes of taking the preferred option to the board for approval this fall.

But according to Coun. Josh Matlow, heights of more than four to six storeys are not permitted there under the official plan.

“Before you go through a whole process of getting people to dream about unicorns and chocolate-paved roads … if you want to go higher or bigger, then you need to come to the city and say, ‘We’d like to discuss a redesignation of the site,’ and then see if it’s appropriate,” Matlow said.

Local trustee Shelley Laskin, however, said it would be premature to approach the city before the board decides to pursue any plan.

“The process only began with the understanding of the amount of residential development that would be required to build a school,” Laskin explained.

Diane Schunk, a Spectrum Alternative School parent, confirmed that the design team was made aware that the need for an official plan amendment could be a potential roadblock to the preferred concept.

“I think it’s a difficult position for the whole community to be in, and it’s unfortunate that we magically just don’t have the money, but given where we’re at… I do think that this is a way for us to be able to have better facilities that will enrich our kids’ education,” she said.

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