An investigation into a role for municipal planners in decisions pertaining to the future of surplus schools
thesisposted on 25.05.2021, 07:14 by Lauren Sauve
In addition to facilitating the education of children, school buildings and their surrounding footprint offer a wide range of community benefits. Consequently, when student enrolment falls and these buildings are slated for closure, the public benefits that these facilities provide are lost to the surrounding neighbourhood. Currently in Ontario, the mandate for school boards when closing surplus schools appears to be detached from that of the corresponding municipality. This MRP explores what is preventing these two entities from working together presently, and subsequently hypothesizes the role of a legislated partnership between municipalities and school boards when decisions are being made about the future of these sites. Not only would a more collaborative relationship between municipalities and school boards be beneficial in evaluating the potential for joint or alternative uses for school sites, but it would also afford an opportunity for municipal planners to study the intangible benefits of a school and the impact of closures on Official Plan policy objectives. The potential role for municipal planners in the school closure decision-making process will therefore be central to the findings of this paper.