Residents fighting to save SCITS from closure have found an ally in city hall planners.
A city report released last week states that if the Lambton Kent District School Board must axe a high school, St. Clair (SCSS) is a better choice.
“On balance, the SCSS site offers great opportunities for redevelopment, and if a closure were to occur, the closure of SCSS would likely have less of an impact on its surroundings,” states the report from acting planning director Alan Shaw.
City councillors backed Mayor Mike Bradley’s request for the report last month, alarmed by the potential economic and social impact on the city’s south end.
The study compares numerous factors, including heritage value, building conditions, economic impact and the redevelopment potential of the land and buildings.
The 29-page report concludes that closing either school would hurt but that SCITS, with its theatre and other community amenities, is better integrated into its surroundings and provides an important cultural and economic hub in the city’s south end.
A barrage of new information has prompted the school board to move back its timetable.
A final staff is report is now expected on April 12 and delegations will make last pitches to the board on April 26.
Trustees will vote May 10 on the recommendations, two weeks later than originally planned.