Crowded Toronto school to expand again

But Maurice Cody must wait until 2010
By Kris Scheuer
(Published in Town Crier July 2/09)

Maurice Cody students will soon have more space at their overcrowded public school.
A $500,000 pre-fabricated addition will be attached to the Leaside-area elementary school by September 2010.
St. Paul’s school trustee Josh Matlow is happy the option.
“I think the pre-fab is a solution that’s very workable,” he told about 60 people at a June 16 meeting.
The school is currently closed to students living outside the catchment area. However anyone inside is guaranteed a spot. The existing building’s capacity is 397, but enrollment has grown significantly in the past decade and by this September the head count is anticipated to be 565 students. 
At least four other possible options were considered for Maurice Cody including:
• Moving the daycare out to free up space.
• Having the grade 6 class join Hodgson Senior PS.
• Adding additional portables to the site.
• Changing the attendance boundaries.
But the board staff, school administration and Matlow recommended the addition as the preferred alternative.
In fact, only one or two parents at the meeting objected.
Matlow saw the final decision as a win.
“We aren’t going to lose daycare. We keep the school together. We won’t rip apart the boundaries. We won’t have tons and tons of portables,” he said.
There are already two portables on site. There was a possibility of adding a third one this fall, but principal Shona Farrelly said it won’t be necessary. However, she’ll need to find a one-year solution until the pre-fab addition is ready.
Attendance at the meeting was a third of a more contentious March meeting on overcrowding.
“I think we came away from the March meeting thinking we are screwed,” a parent in the audience. “I think we are happy to see a workable option.
“It’s a pleasure to see bureaucracy work faster than we expected.”
Parent Kate Silverberg said the solution is a compromise she can live with.
“It’s the best of the worst,” she said, adding she has a son in grade 1 and daughter in JK at the school. “The school is so full that students will (still) be affected by less gym and library time.”
Trustee Matlow explained the pre-fab addition will not go to the Toronto District School Board for a vote.
Forest Manor PS, at Don Mills Rd. and Hwy. 401, is the only other school with a pre-fab addition.

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