School closures: an unexpected wrinkle

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July 15, 2009 by realrenewal

by Roger Currie

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that I’m the child of two teachers, which partly explains why I’ve always liked school buildings. When you think about places in this world where going to school is a luxury that’s not for everyone, it should make all of us appreciate schools more than we do. This week, Regina said goodbye to two of them, Stewart Russell on 7th Avenue, and Robert Usher Collegiate in Uplands. They have been deemed ‘redundant’ because of declining enrollment, based on projections which are questionable at best. Usher is less than 30 years old. It was the ‘pride of the fleet’ when it opened its brand new doors in 1979. At Stewart Russell, there was an interesting little ‘wrinkle’ no one thought of when public school trustees signed the ‘death warrant’ earlier this year.

When staff were tidying up recently in preparation for closing the doors, they came across a time capsule that was left there when the school opened in 1974. It would be ascinating to open it and see what everyone thought was important 34 years ago, but we’ll have to wait quite a while to find out those secrets. You see back then, they thought that a school might last at least 50 years. The time capsule is not to be opened until 2024 .. 16 long years from now. What will happen to the building in the meantime is anybody’s guess. The third school which will be closing in a few short weeks, Herchmer Community School, will be a distant memory by 2024. It will be a pile of rubble by the end of July.

So if you missed its farewell last month, and Herchmer has special memories for you, better head over to 1132 McTavish and get your pictures. Then, maybe write a letter or an E mail to one of Regina’s public school trustees, and give them a piece of your mind.

For 620 CKRM, I’m Roger Currie


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