It’s been a long road to get to Monday night, when the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board decided to tear down King George and Parkview schools to build a new north high school. Trustees also voted to expropriate and demolish the former Scott Park high school building and build a parking lot, which would cost about $4 million.
On Thursday, CBC Hamilton will host a live chat with board chair Tim Simmons on this decision and others.
Here's a timeline of how they got here:
The board launches a sweeping accommodation review process that looks at all but three of Hamilton's 17 public high schools. This includes Sir John A. Macdonald, Delta and Parkview in the north end.
May 29, 2012
The board votes to close the three schools and replace them with a new high school in the Pan Am precinct.
May 31, 2012
The board asks the province for money to build the new high school.
The province grants the board $31.8 million to build the school. It has to be built by 2016. The board says it is examining several locations to build.
Feb. 11, 2013
Trustees vote to approach the city to build a joint recreation centre and high school complex in the Pan Am precinct. Board and city staff are working together to hammer out an agreement.
Feb. 27, 2013
City council votes to investigate a partnership with the board for a joint complex. City manager Chris Murray says board and city staff have been working together for “several months” on a possible partnership.
April 29, 2013
The board announces its intention to expropriate 0.6 hectares (1.56 acres) at Scott Park, land it sold for $650,000 nine years earlier. The land used to house a high school, which the board closed in 2001.
July 11, 2013
City staff hand out a proposed letter of agreement between the city and the board that would cost the city $17 million. But councillors, getting the letter at the last minute, hit the brakes. They want more information. "I have some huge concerns," said Coun. Brenda Johnson. "(The agreement) was just handed to me, and it's hurry up, hurry up, let's go." The board urges the city to make a decision as soon as possible.
Sept. 5, 2013
With a new staff report in hand, the city’s general issues committee votes in favour of the agreement. But a week later, council overturns it. The city cites questions about money, how much control it will have over the recreation centre and distrust with the school board over past agreements.
The board, meanwhile, is left with two potential pieces of property — the King George and Parkview land, which it owns, and the Scott Park land, which it must expropriate. Neither are big enough on their own to build a high school.
Oct. 4, 2013
The board is prepared to participate in an expropriation hearing for Scott Park. But staff say the land owner is not contesting the expropriation.
Oct. 21, 2013
After extensive debate, the board’s standing committee votes to build the school over two sites. The new 1,250-student, three-storey high school will be on the 3.67-acre lot currently housing King George and Parkview. The parking lot, suitable for 165 vehicles, will be about 200 metres down the road at Scott Park. The anticipated cost of demolishing the Scott Park building and building a parking lot is $4 million. That does not include the cost of expropriation.
Oct. 28, 2013
Board trustees take a final vote on the school location. After much debate, trustees vote 7-4 in favour.
Still to come:
The city must approve the necessary rezoning for the two properties. Also, the city has postponed the building's demolition until a consultant finishes an inventory of the building's heritage aspects.