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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2012, 2:05 PM
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Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board | ? | 2 fl | Complete

Board HQ mimics plan from Mohawk

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board appears to be taking a page from Mohawk College in the design of its proposed, $31.6-million headquarters.

Drawings shown at a public open house Wednesday night look similar to the new, glass-panelled Learning Exchange at Mohawk College, recently recognized as a building for architecture buffs to see by the Washington, D.C.-based Atlantic Cities magazine.

The two-storey centre set for the Crestwood school site, on Millwood Place near Mohawk Road East and Upper Wentworth Street, will encompass 113,500 square feet. It will offer parking for 480 cars — a new detail determined in the past month — and landscaping on about 42 per cent of the property. This includes adding trees on the grounds.

As it stands, a few routes to the site require a drive through the neighbourhood. The board is proposing to confine the access route to Upper Wentworth Street, through Fieldway Drive.

Even though the board has not finalized the sale of its downtown centre to McMaster University for development of a new health campus, board staff believed it was appropriate to seek public comment for the new building. Trustees approved the conditional sale of the 45-year-old downtown centre to McMaster last September.

“Like many processes, things have to run concurrently,” said Don Hall, the board’s senior facilities officer. “If we did everything (in sequence) … The timeline would be astronomical. We actually started discussions with the city about this site a year ago, so we have already started work.”

The aim is to move into the new centre in March 2014. The city is offering to lease space to the board in the Robert Thompson building as an interim home.

The building has been designed by +VG Architects from Brantford. The design for the new headquarters drew mixed views. But architect Paul Sapounzi liked the comments he was hearing from residents.

“They liked the idea (that) the footprint of the (new) building is smaller than the building here (now),” he said.

Downtown businessman Graham Crawford, who wished the board would remain downtown, was unimpressed.

“It just shows an uninteresting lack for innovation and an utter disdain for the heart of the city,” he said.





Where are we now

January - June 2012
continue to seek stakeholder input
design development of the new facility
apply for the appropriate building permits

August 2012
Proposed groundbreaking

Where we're headed

March 2014 - Proposed move-in date for staff into the new facility
April 2014 - Proposed community grand opening celebration
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2012, 7:00 PM
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Wow 480 parking spots. I guess that's what's driving it.

Also why bother with good architecture here. It's not like anyone is going to see it, besides board employees.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2012, 7:09 AM
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In the end, what's the point in staying downtown when there are so few schools there in the first place; might as well move in the same direction ~ South!

The board's rubbish anyway. Anyone who's ever taught in Hamilton knows this fact. Good riddance!
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2012, 5:21 PM
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http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/...an25Item84.pdf

Jason Farr's motion to "propose the City Hall second tower site to the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board for a nominal longterm land lease fee, and undertake discussions with the Board on their requirements."
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Good motion but I don't have faith that it's going to go anywhere. Pretty sure the board is dead set on their plans.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2012, 8:01 PM
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480 parking spaces on just under ten acres to build a two storey building. Wonderful.

Why does the board want to move? What need is the current building not fulfilling?
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2012, 1:06 AM
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Councillor looks to board school HQ in City Hall tower

By Andrew Dreschel
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...ity-hall-tower

Downtown councillor Jason Farr is making a last-ditch attempt to keep the public school headquarters in the core.

Farr wants council to ask the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board to build its new home in a second tower on the City Hall site.

“It’ll be a sweet deal and maybe they’ll take a good hard second look at it at the very least,” said Farr.

School board spokesperson Jackie Penman declines to comment on the proposal.

She said the board has officially chosen the Crestwood school site near Upper Wentworth and Mohawk as its future administrative home and the business case has already received conditional approval from the province.

But Farr remains optimistic.

The Ward 2 councillor notes that when City Hall was constructed in 1960, architect Stanley Roscoe designed it with the idea of one day building a second tower on the south side behind the existing building.

He maintains that would not only make a great home for the board, but council would be able to offer a long-term lease at a “very palatable” rate.

Getting the board to look at it could be an uphill slog considering that last week it unveiled its $31.6 million plans for the Crestwood site.

The 113,000-square-foot building is contingent on the board selling the land it currently sits on at Main and Bay to McMaster University for the development of an $85-million downtown health campus.

Those negotiations, while expected to be concluded soon, hinge on a couple of key conditions, including finding a temporary home for the board while its new home is built.

If an agreement can be reached, the board is looking at possibly subleasing space from the city for two years in the Robert Thomson downtown.

Farr’s initiative isn’t the first fling at keeping the board in the core permanently. City staff has also tried and failed to convince them to stay put.

The board looked at 18 possible locations before settling on the Crestwood site. Cost was the decisive factor.

“I wish we could have found a way to stay in the downtown that was affordable … but all the scenarios we looked at were not affordable to us,” then-board chair Judith Bishop said last spring.

Farr hopes the City Hall proposal will change that.

“We’re going to sweeten the pot here and we want staff to negotiate something that, at the very least, is hard to say no to and, at best, they jump at.”
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 4:55 PM
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The spec poll of the day

31 January 2012

http://www.thespec.com/

Quote:
Poll »
There is a push on to keep the public school board headquarters downtown. Proponents say the board should stay in the core as it is needed to advance revitalization. Others argue the new site on the Mountain is appropriate given the population there and concentration of community institutions downtown. And others say let cost be the deciding factor.
  • The Mountain move is fine
  • Keep the board downtown
  • Whichever is cheaper
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2012, 5:07 PM
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One of their objectives is to create a "civic landmark"

Yep... to visit the landmark, take the highway to limeridge mall, and look to your left - you'll find it right behind the mark's work wearhouse!

Such vision!

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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2012, 6:16 PM
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That's pathetic.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2012, 11:37 PM
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Farr's motion passed, 8-6.

In favour - Farr, Whitehead, Powers, Collins, Jackson, Morelli, Merulla and Pasuta.

Against - Bratina, Clark, Johnson, Ferguson, Pearson and Patridge.
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Old Posted Feb 9, 2012, 12:05 AM
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wow - shocked this passed - also a sort of strange division of councillors on the issue. So if the school board now sits down and realises they can sell both the BoE building and the Crestwood site, plus get a sweet deal at city hall, this might just go through. Kudos to Farr for pulling this off.
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Old Posted Feb 9, 2012, 12:25 AM
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Hamilton council to Board of Ed: Please stay downtown

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

Hamilton city council wants the public school board to reconsider it’s plans to desert the downtown for a new suburban home, and instead set up shop in a new companion tower at city hall.

The motion came in a close vote Wednesday evening, as councilors adopted Jason Farr’s motion by an 8-6 margin.

The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, the city, and McMaster University are part of a complicated three way deal that would see the board move to new headquarters on the Mountain, while McMaster demolishes the board’s 1960’s era headquarters across from city hall to make way for a combined office, health clinic facility.

But Farr’s motion asks the board to re-think the plan and consider working with the city to exploring building a new tower on city hall land, a structure contemplated in the original plans for city hall, but never built.

Voting in favour of the motion were Councillors Farr, Morelli, Merulla, Collins, Jackson, Whitehead, Pasuta, and Powers. Opposed were Mayor Bratina and councilors Partridge, Ferguson, Johnson, Pearson and Clark.
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Old Posted Feb 10, 2012, 12:17 AM
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Board trustees want to hear Hamilton’s Education Centre plan

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

The public school board hasn’t closed the door on keeping its headquarters downtown.

Several trustees said Thursday they are open to hearing a plan that would allow its Education Centre to remain in the core. But it’s still too soon to know if the city can bring a feasible — and financially realistic — option to the table.

“We’re still waiting to hear from the city with regard to the motion that was brought forward by Jason Farr last night, so we have no idea what the intent is or how they would help us out,” said board chair Tim Simmons. “It’s really too early to go there.”

City council backed a motion Wednesday night to officially petition the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board to locate its new headquarters in a second tower to the south of City Hall.

Farr, the downtown councillor behind the motion, acknowledged the pitch is coming late in the game, with the board having already decided on the former Crestwood school grounds on the Mountain as the preferred site for its new home.

Nonetheless, “now is better than never.”

“Things do happen last minute and better deals do come along. This very well might be one,” he said. “I still think there’s an opportunity.”

Farr is hopeful city staff can come up with a plan that would allow the board to build the new tower within its $31-million budget. The partnership would also include an “extremely cheap” long-term land lease.

In order to boost the downtown economy and keep the board’s 400 workers in the core, “we’re willing to make adjustments and concessions,” Farr said.

Though there are gaps in the plan that still need to be filled, trustee Lillian Orban said she’d like to see what the city has to offer.

“What’s another two or three weeks?” she said. “I believe in taking the time and I am prepared to listen. It’s only fair to do so.”

Trustee Laura Peddle said she’s open to ideas that are “win-win”

“Anything that costs less, yet stays in the core, will be acceptable to me. We could sell the Crestwood site for additional revenue,” she said.

Another trustee, meanwhile, said he’s willing to consider downtown options, but not on the City Hall site. Others said they simply need more information from the city before they can take a side.

The public will find out Friday if the board ever formally considered a second tower at City Hall as a potential option for its new headquarters. That’s when the school board will reveal an October 2010 report containing information about 18 possible locations for the new Education Centre as well as information about the site selection process and a project overview.

Both the board and McMaster University say the city’s push to consider a tower option won’t have much bearing on the negotiations between the two parties for the sale of the board’s current home at 100 Main St. W.

Once that deal is complete, the university plans to demolish the downtown Education Centre to make way for a new $85-million health campus. Both the school board and McMaster plan to move into their new homes in 2014.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2012, 10:47 PM
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2012, 5:32 AM
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Wait...What?

A downtown location was a close second?

Come on people, it's a no brainer!

Quote:
Name: Crestwood

Location: 50 Millwood Pl. (Mohawk and Upper Wentworth)

Score: 86.69

Rank: 1
Quote:
Name: Jackson Square

Location: 77 James St. North (James and King)

Score: 86.49

Rank: 2
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...ard-hq-options
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2012, 12:27 PM
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City Mall

Just saw the score spread between Crestwood and Jackson Square.
I believe there is plenty of space available and Jackson Sq would be not that much of a change commute wise or existing parking.
Just a thought, but they used City Mall while City Hall was being prepared, so many it would suffice as office space seeing it was good enough for many city Depts.
With downtown development maybe some employees would even consider condos for a walk to work.
We need businesses downtown for networking and coordination.
Between Jackson Sq (Standard Life) and City Mall there is plenty of room.
And the Farmers Market would be a nice lunch time stroll all indoors rain or shine.
Let them have thensq footage for peanuts just for the spin-off business.
Maybe the Board of Ed could pull a Lister block and renovate over time a block of historical buildings.
Lastly as another option get them as a resident of the recent vacant West Harbour land. Instead of commercial. At least at first.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2012, 2:33 PM
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There's a new owner for City Centre and it seems like he has a plan already.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2012, 3:50 PM
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I like how these weighted ratings are just arbitrary numbers.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2012, 4:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
There's a new owner for City Centre and it seems like he has a plan already.
Can you elabourate?

I remember reading a while back about the new owner, and how he prefers to stay out of the limelight and operates fairly quietly.

There was also talk about opening up the east side of City Centre to have entrances and stores fronting on James St., making it much more street friendly, exactly what they did with Toronto's Eaton Centre on Yonge st.

Is this plan you speak of big enough to exclude the HWDSB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattgrande View Post
I like how these weighted ratings are just arbitrary numbers.
And how the downtown location scored higher than the selected Crestwood site, in 10 of the 12 categories, scoring a very close second, losing out by a mere 0.2

Ridiculous, when you consider the only real issue being discussed publicly with the new HWDSB building is its propsoed abandonment of the downtown!
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