Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: How Might Surplus space be used now and the future?

  1. #1

    Default How Might Surplus space be used now and the future?

    There are three things to keep in mind when we’re talking about sector planning:
    1. How much space is required to meet current and future instructional needs?
    2. How much space is available to share with educational partners, the community or other strategic district partners?
    3. How much space can be disposed of to meet other community purposes?

    In the Greater Hardisty area there is student capacity of 2429 amongst the 4 schools and there are 409 students from the area with another 447 students transferring in.
    In the City Center Area there is capacity of 3955 places amongst the 7 schools with 841 students from the area and another 525 students who have transferred into the area.

    Please share your thoughts and ideas about space allocation and configuration. How might school space be used now and in the future?

  2. #2

    Default

    Two threads on this?

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Default Seniors Housing

    I understand that schools (probably two, maybe three) will be closed in the Greater Hardisty area. With that in mind, and the fact that the majority of residents in the area are seniors. It makes sense to provide seniors with low-rise apartments/condos on the footprints of closed schools. This would free up residential homes for families that might consider moving to the area thereby boosting the student population. This, of course, is probably contingent on at least one elementary school and Hardisty Jr. high remaining in operation.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ubersheets View Post
    I understand that schools (probably two, maybe three) will be closed in the Greater Hardisty area. With that in mind, and the fact that the majority of residents in the area are seniors. It makes sense to provide seniors with low-rise apartments/condos on the footprints of closed schools. This would free up residential homes for families that might consider moving to the area thereby boosting the student population. This, of course, is probably contingent on at least one elementary school and Hardisty Jr. high remaining in operation.
    So closing schools will encourage families to move in and boost student population?

    No: young families avoid neighbourhoods where schools have closed, or are being threatened with closure. Nothing against seniors, but I feel strongly that schools need to be kept open as much as possible, and if there is some surplus space within the school, then priority should be given to family-oriented uses such as daycare.

    Some quick facts from the 2009 municipal census. The "Greater Hardisty" area (neighbourhoods of Capilano, Gold Bar and Fulton Place) do have more seniors than the city average - 20% compared to 11% for all of Edmonton. But these same neighbourhoods combined have more students than seniors: 1662 are under 20, and 1455 are 65 and over. The ratio of children under 20 is identical to the city average of 23%. So yes, there are seniors, but there are also children living there too. Closing one or two or three of the local schools will change this demographic and force families and their children elsewhere.

    By contrast, two neighbourhoods that had schools close a few years ago, Newton and High Park, now have less than average under-20 populations (20% and 19% respectively). I believe this is a result of the school closures; families do not want to live there.

    And why do you think it's a foregone conclusion that two or three (of the four in Greater Hardisty) need to close? I'm curious on what this opinion is based, since it seems like a lot of people share this point of view.

    Cheers
    Last edited by nmorra; 18-11-2009 at 08:15 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    I've attended two of the consultation sessions conducted by Dialogue Partners (the company EPSB has contracted to conduct public consultations). This is what they say: "Change is coming." Read: school(s) will be closed.

    And frankly, you can crunch all the numbers you want, but the numbers EPSB will base their decision on say the Greater Hardisty Area has 2429 spaces available, and only 856 are utilized (35%). 409 are students who reside in Hardisty, 447 are students from outside the area. There are not enough students in our area to fill the available spaces. When the new schools open in the south next year (and the years following), there will probably be fewer (some students bus in to Hardisty from Millwoods). One, two, possibly three schools will close. How that closure is configured and how the closed schools/school lots are utilized is what is open for discussion. I think you're in for a rude surprise if you believe no school(s) will be closed.

    I would like to see at least one of the elementary schools retained along with Hardisty Junior High. If the elementary could be K-6 and the Jr High K-9, at least parents would have choice.

    And regardless of whether converting school sites into seniors housing will bring more families into the area or not, I believe seniors housing would be a very acceptable use of the surplus land/space in aftermath of school closures.

  7. #7
    highlander
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nmorra View Post

    By contrast, two neighbourhoods that had schools close a few years ago, Newton and High Park, now have less than average under-20 populations (20% and 19% respectively). I believe this is a result of the school closures; families do not want to live there.
    While I'm certainly not for closing schools, is there data that tells us that that Newton and High Park has more children before?

    I can't speak for High Park, but Newton still has a Catholic School sharing the same block as the old Newton School, and Montrose school is only a few blocks away, with no significant streets to cross. Mount Royal School is also only a few blocks away and has lots of room, although there is a major street in the way. A bigger problem that would reduce the student population is a combination of aging demographics, and housing stock that is seen as less than ideal for many families. I live just a half-block from newton neighbourhood, on a street with comparable homes, and we recently had neighbours with two preschoolers move to the burbs because their home was only 2 bedrooms, and we have another looking to make a similar move.

  8. #8
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    835

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ubersheets View Post
    And frankly, you can crunch all the numbers you want, but the numbers EPSB will base their decision on say the Greater Hardisty Area has 2429 spaces available, and only 856 are utilized (35%). 409 are students who reside in Hardisty, 447 are students from outside the area. There are not enough students in our area to fill the available spaces.
    We discussed this information at the meeting of the sector review advisory committee on Wednesday. It is a bit misleading. The "number of empty desks" measurement excludes preschools and out-of-school providers -- tenants recognized as desirable partners in new board policy. Also, special needs students are funded as taking up more than one space.

    A better measurement is weighted enrolment, which recognizes that inclusiveness requires fewer children in a classroom, in some cases.

    At the next set of workshops, participants will be asked to design scenarios that take the interests of special needs students and community partners into account. Certainly school closure is on the table, but I doubt that everyone can fit into one building. There will be options for Hardisty families.

    As for the seniors piece, it is quite difficult to rezone existing schools as residential properties. That's not to say it can't happen, but the problem facing the EPSB is that too few children live where there are too many buildings, and too many children live where there are not enough buildings. To correct that cycle -- and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars -- we need to make mature neighbourhoods more family-friendly. It isn't healthful for the city to be shaped like a donut, with all the old people in the middle, all the young people on the outside. Council, recognizing this, just last week passed a policy requiring more family housing in redevelopment projects.

    Perhaps buildings created with children in mind can still be used for children, just in different ways. Not a perfect solution, but probably better than giving up on communities that have an abundance of grey hairs.
    http://www.twitter.com/ckls

  9. #9

    Default 4299 Extra District Spaces

    An introduction to another thread in this forum says “…there will be 30,000 surplus spaces in Edmonton’s schools.” This number was challenged by someone else, but there has been no response.

    However, the previous comment gave me an insight into one of the problems with the assumptions that have been given...

    EPSB has profiles posted on their website for all schools (http://planning.epsb.ca/school-profiles). I took the time to download all of the 200 pdf files and copy out the weighted student space and enrolment data into a MS Excel spreadsheet. I then summed the difference of enrolment and space for all EPSB schools.

    Conclusion: There are a total of 4,299 additional student spaces. Which on average is about 22 spaces per school.

    You can check my calculations and have a look at a chart that shows EPSB’s track record in forecasting enrolment here http://knowyourtrustee.com/Surplus_Space.html

    Kind regards,
    Dale

  10. #10
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    835

    Default

    Thanks, Dale. That's very interesting information. For example, at my children's school, Grovenor, if weighted enroment was used as a measurement, 38 additional spaces are occupied.

    More generally, that means the problem at EPSB could accurately be quantified as 25,700 surplus spaces. If we apply the new policy that classrooms occupied by preschools and other providers of services to children are valuable partners -- well, I think the number remaining would give us the most useful measurement of what change is needed arising out of the sector review process.

    I'm going to use your spreadsheet to quantify district use in the Hardisty and City Centre areas. Certainly for the second group, which has a lot of ESL learners, I imagine they'll be quite a change in the picture.
    http://www.twitter.com/ckls

  11. #11

    Default 4,299

    Green Grovenor,
    No problem. Let me know you if need any help.

    This is how I interpret the data. Let me know missed anything or if I have anything wrong...

    In 2004 Grovenor school had 87 students enrolled and on Sept. 30, 2008 it had 102 students enrolled.

    If one simply used the Alberta Commission on Learning's recommended class sizes Grovenor would have a capacity for 240 students. As it has been pointed out elsewhere, this is not a realistic number to use for planning.

    However, there is a Weighted Student Space number which should compensate for special needs students and use of the school by day cares, playschools, etc. For Grovenor, this number is 100 less than the ACOL number or 140 students.

    Using EPSB’s data, as of September 30, 2008 Grovenor had room for another 38 students (Additional Space = Weighted Student Space minus 2008 enrolment). Putting this in context, Grovenor is a school whose enrolment is growing.

    If one adds up the Additional Space for all schools in the district the total is 4,299 and there is on average 22 additional spaces per school.

    Respectfully,
    Dale

  12. #12

    Default

    Thanks for this information Dale, that's a lot of effort you have put in.

    So, for another example, Parkview School:

    2008 = 572
    2004 = 749
    ACOL = 855
    Weighted = 610
    Weighted - ACOL = -245
    Weighted - 2008 = 38

    Where did you get 610 for the Weighted #? Couldn't see it in the profile for Parkview.

    EDIT: I'm thinking you used the older profile for your data, since the profile that is now available is as of Sept. 30, 2009, where the "Total Number of Weighted Student Spaces" is now 571.
    Last edited by lat; 22-11-2009 at 02:23 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Interesting...

    You are correct Lat. My calculations are based on September 30, 2008 data. I downloaded my pdfs from http://planning.epsb.ca/school-profiles at the beginning of the month. It looks like it has updated a few days ago with September 30, 2009 data. It would have been convenient if a MS Excel spreadsheet was posted instead of hundreds of “locked down” pdf files.

    I will spot check a sample of pdf's to see if there are any other significant changes to the data.

    Thanks,
    Dale

    http://twitter.com/stolenfire

  14. #14

    Default

    Slightly off-topic, but related to your comment Dale...

    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...8&postcount=10

  15. #15

    Default 2,850 = 30,000 ??

    Thanks to Lat checking my spreadsheet, it has been discovered that in the last few days EPSB has updated its school profile information.

    My previous spreadsheet was based on EPSB school profiles with information from Sept. 30, 2008. The school profiles now available have information from Sept. 30, 2009.

    I had to download the 200 pdf's again and get their data into a MS Excel spreadsheet to have a look at it. The information in the spreadsheet is solely derived from EPSB school profiles that you can download here http://planning.epsb.ca/

    You can check my updated calculations and have a look at a chart that shows EPSB’s track record in forecasting enrolment here http://knowyourtrustee.com/Surplus_Space.html

    So how much surplus space is there in the district? There are actually only 2,850 additional school spaces available in the entire EPSB district. This works out to an average of about 14 unused spaces per each school.

    BTW Lat, I was one of the Edmontonians that was huddled around flipcharts this weekend so that City data can become accessible ‘in a fun and cool way’. I think it is wonderful that the City of Edmonton is engaging with citizens to open access to its data to improve quality of life and increase government transparency and accountability; But the true story is the spirit of the employees of the City of Edmonton that volunteered their time to help make this happen. It is truly heartening.

    With kind regards,
    Dale
    http:/www.twitter.com/stolenfire

  16. #16
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    835

    Default

    I've reviewed the school profiles for the Hardisty and City Centre areas. The information confirms that a lot of space is being used in positive ways -- by preschools, child care providers, literacy organizations and mentoring agencies -- that do not show up in the overall enrolment count. For example, at Gold Bar School, there are 131 students (weighted enrolment, 135) registered in district programming, in a building with a theoretical capacity of 340. However, most of the surplus classrooms are used for early education, daycare and ABC Head Start, so the facility is not less than half-full, as the numbers suggest.

    The City Centre area is quite interesting. Weighted enrolment at John A. McDougall is 254, which is really strong, and the number of students has increased 18.5 per cent since 2005. The building also hosts child care and ESL partnerships and is in good shape -- but it is too big for the needs of the community, with (theoretically) 440 spaces. I hope the district will pursue solutions other than closure for well-attended but oversized schools. Delton (295 weighted enrolment, 480 capacity) also fits into this category.

    Perhaps Parkdale School (which offers K-9) has the most interesting profile. There are 303 EPSB junior high students who live in the Parkdale catchment zone, but only 70 of them are attending their local school. In other words, instead of a demographic problem, Parkdale is struggling with enrolment because, in the judgement of area families, it is not serving their needs.

    Sector reviews are partly a result of awful municipal planning, but district policies, biases and neglect have, in some instances, contributed to the problem.
    http://www.twitter.com/ckls

  17. #17

    Default

    Interesting insights Green Grovenor...

    For others that would like to review the school profiles and not get blisters on their fingers downloading them one at a time you may download a zip file containing all of the school profile pdfs by clicking on one of the links below. Each file is about 130MB in size. These links will expire in 72 hours. If someone would like the pdfs after that, just let me know. (The school identification numbers are indexed in the spreadsheet at http://knowyourtrustee.com/Surplus_Space.html).

    Zip file containing EPSB School Profiles with Sept 30, 2009 data
    http://dwarfurl.com/e4b96

    Zip file containing EPSB School Profiles with Sept 30, 2008 data
    http://dwarfurl.com/a7936


    Kind regards,
    Dale
    Last edited by dhudjik; 23-11-2009 at 02:57 PM. Reason: minor edit; added where one could find an index of school id numbers

  18. #18

    Default

    Green Grovenor,
    I have finally realized what think you knew all along, that Weighted Student Space is weighted enrolment and not a capacity number. (http://districtsite.epsb.ca/root/dat...ofileTerms.pdf says “Total Number of Weighted Student Spaces: total number of students in the school calculating severe special education students on a three to one basis.”)

    I have updated my spreadsheet (http://knowyourtrustee.com/Surplus_Space.html). The spreadsheet now calculates additional EPSB space by taking the Total ACOL School Capacity minus the Total Weighted Student Spaces using the Sept 30, 2009 profiles.

    Using this calculation the total additional space is 24,864. I do not think we understand what the 'surplus' space is until early education, daycare and ABC Head Start, etc. are factored out.

    However, I noticed that the overall Weighted Student Space has decreased by 1507 from 2008 to 2009, although total enrolment has only gone down by 57 students. Do you have any insight into this?

  19. #19
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    835

    Default

    Trustee Dave Colburn offered the following notice of motion at last night's public school board meeting:

    "Move that a working committee be created by the Board, consisting of trustees, city councillors and MLAs, that will examine all possibilities related to school closures, school viability issues and any related matters as determined by the committee."

    If you endorse the idea that we need a comprehensive plan to address the decline in the number of children living in established communities, I hope you will take a moment to ask your trustee to support this motion.
    http://www.twitter.com/ckls

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •