View Full Version : Grand View Public School | Built 1923
03-24-2010, 05:01 AM
Grand View Public School
1144 Hamilton Street, Cambridge
Elementary School (JK-6)
Grand View Public School was constructed between 1922 and 1923, with the official opening falling on April 1923. It was originally used as a public elementary school until 1934 when it was converted to a continuation school. In September of 1934 Grand View officially became Preston Continuation School, where grades 9 and 10 were taught. Shortly after that a six room addition was constructed onto the school by Dunker Bros. Construction Company, designed by J.H. Patterson, architect.
Student enrolment increased at this time from 120 in 1934 to 240 in 1940 when Grand View officially became Preston High School. During World War II a total of 133 men from Grand View served in the armed forces including the Principal at that time, Mr. R.O. Geddes. Tragically 14 of those men lost their lives on active duty during the war.
In 1946, a major addition to the curriculum was added, agriculture, taught by Mr. A.O. Stager. The school acquired a chicken house, bee hives, a tool shed, a garden tractor and built a garden.
The high school served the needs of the Preston community for 22 years. Changes continued through this time with the curriculum and also with a broader extra-curricular program. Activities such as: Glee Club, Hockey, Football and many other sports were introduced during this time. The high school student body eventually moved in 1956 to the newly constructed Preston High School on Rose Street and Grand View Public School became an elementary school again.
Grand View underwent more construction with the addition of a gymnasium in 1969 . Over the years Grand View Public School has had many upgrades and work performed on the school. Currently, Grand View supports wireless technology throughout the school and has had regular upgrades to the facility including floors, painting and furniture. School population has hovered around 200 students over the last two decades, however in the last few years enrolment has been declining slowly.
Even though Grand View’s student population has consistently been small, the school continues to provide the students with a variety of activities and opportunities to grow, such as: Chess instruction, Skating, Intramural sports, Running Club, Craft Club, Games Club, Computer Club, Recycling, and the list goes on.
Grand View Public School maintains strong ties with its community, many of our students have had parents and grandparents attend this school and many of them come to visit the school regularly. We, at Grand View, see our school not only as an academic institution but also as a family where we care about all of our students’ needs and help them to become adults.
03-24-2010, 05:04 AM
Grandview school’s history likely won’t be enough to save it from the wrecking ball
By Kevin Swayze, Record staff
March 10, 2010 - http://news.therecord.com/article/682462
CAMBRIDGE — City heritage officials are scrambling after hearing of demolition plans for Grandview Public School on Hamilton Street.
Monday, public school board trustees approved, in principle, plans to raze the 77-year-old building. Until last week, talk was about $4.5 million in renovations and additions to double its size to handle upwards of 200 students bused in from the Deer Ridge area of south Kitchener.
Now, the talk is of spending $7 million to raze and replace it, after more and more problems were found with the existing building as the renovation plans were drawn up.
Heritage boosters were blindsided by the change of plans for Grandview.
“This has just exploded into the community,” said Kathy McGarry, president of Heritage Cambridge.
“I was horrified when I heard Tuesday.”
The original Preston Public School was saved from demolition and converted into apartments in the late 1970s. When Central Public in Galt was demolished and replaced with a modern school, the public anger led to creation of the watchdog group Heritage Cambridge in 1971, McGarry said.
At City Hall, the city’s heritage planner is busy collecting whatever documentation she can find, trying to arrange a tour of the building by the city’s heritage advisory committee and asking school officials for more copies of engineering reports supporting demolition.
With the school board expected to ratify demolition March 29, a Grandview report is on a fast track for consideration by city councillors March 22. There’s not, however, much the councillors can do to stop demolition, said Janet Babcock, planning commissioner.
Grandview may be a local landmark overlooking old Preston—and served as the original Preston High School in 1940 — but council never designated it under the Ontario Heritage Act. That legislation can stall demolition.
It’s not, however, as simple as city council holding a quick vote to designate before the school board applies for a demolition permit, Babcock said. The Heritage Act demands a justification report with supporting documents to explain a building’s architectural, historic and cultural importance.
“I wouldn’t advise council to make a snap decision,” she said.
The best the city might get is saving some part of the building in the new school. Like the arched entrance and its wooden doors, or the diamond patterns of brickwork on the east and west ends.
“I like that historic building. It’s always been there,” said Amber Gallant as she walked with her son, Conor, 3, along Hamilton Street. “I was going to send him to the old school.”
Nearby, James Nichols said he’d miss seeing the red-brick building on a hill when he looks out his front door. “It’s got a lot of history.”
Rosina Pinnau of Moore Street sent her three daughters to Grandview, but wouldn’t lament its demolition. A big new school on the same site would allow her grandchildren from Deer Ridge in Kitchener to be bused to there — and she could have them close for visits.
A new school would be an improvement, said Iona Vell, as she delivered her son Koen to afternoon kindergarten classes.
“We’ve had issues with mould in the school; my son is in a basement classroom,” she said.
Christian Comely of Dolph Street was peeved the school board surprised everyone with the demolition plan, after talking renovation for a year. He’s worried his son, Siris, will have to go to another school during construction.
“It’s one thing if you’re an adult, but if you’re a kid, it’s hard,” he said.
“They should have told parents ... it’s pretty easy to throw a newsletter in his backpack.”
It was a “leap of faith” for school board staff to ask for a new building instead of less-expensive renovation, said Marilyn Marklevitz, a superintendent overseeing school construction.
“I will apologize for the upset. It was never intended to happen.”
Until the school board supported a new school, staff were hesitant to hint at the possibility, she said. School board officials planned a meeting Wednesday night with parents at a school council meeting.
“We’ve been criticized in the past for leading parents on and promising things to parents.”
The intent is to keep students in the old building as a new school is built beside it, Marklevitz said.
No drawings of the proposed new Grandview are ready, but the intent is to include key features of the old building in the new. Like the “incredibly beautiful entranceway overlooking the (playing) field” or the gargoyles on the front façade, she said.
“We see this as a win-win solution. We think the kids will be better off in a brand spanking new school.”
Council defers decision on Grand View Public School
570 News Mar 23, 2010 4:08:27 AM
Cambridge city council weighed in to the brewing battle over Grand View Public School.
The school which opened in 1923 and is now 87-years-old may not get to see its 90th birthday.
At the general committee meeting last night council voted unanimously for a motion requesting the school board to defer a looming decision to demolish the building until after meeting with city staff, heritage groups and the public.
Mayor Doug Craig tells 570 News its a simple request. He says Cambridge "values its heritage and wants to reflect on that and look and see if there is any compromise."
The next board meeting is in six days, that's when they could vote on spending either $7-million dollars for a new school to be built on the site or nearly $5-million on renovations and upgrades.
Heritage groups want the city to declare the school an historic building.
03-24-2010, 12:20 PM
Don’t bog down plans to raze historic Grand View school, official warns city council
March 24, 2010
By Kevin Swayze, Record staff
CAMBRIDGE — City interference with the demolition of Grand View public school could endanger other schools in the area, a senior school board official says.
Marilyn Marklevitz, the superintendent overseeing the $7-million project, warned city council against trying to force the school board to save Grand View, built in 1923. She said it needs to be replaced to properly to handle more students from the Deer Ridge area of Kitchener, who now overcrowd Preston Public School.
“If we end of bogged down in a long, extended process, one of our options is to go back and do an entire accommodation review for schools in the entire area,” she said Monday.
“We could be back to the drawing board to look at closing other schools in the review.”
She told apologized for the last-minute shift from renovation and expansion to replacement, but said it’s up to the school make best use of limited provincial money to build the best school possible for students.
Renovation would have cost at least $4.6 million and not created a much better learning environment for students, she said.
Some architectural details will be saved and incorporated into the new school, she said. That didn’t appease heritage advocates or most city councillors.
Council members voted unanimously to call on the school board to defer the demolition question for two weeks, to allow time for talks between city heritage officials and the school board.
Brad Paddock, chair of the city’s heritage committee said Grand View easily meets provincial historic designation criteria. If designated, the city can reject issuing a demolition permit.
Paddock was repulsed at the idea of carving off historic parts of the landmark to stick into a modern school. Context is critical to history, he said. It’s much more than preserving a few artifacts in a new location.
“If we were to take the tower off (Cambridge) City Hall and put it in High Park, it wouldn’t’ have the same value.”
Nobody around the council table talked about imposing a heritage designation. All they wanted was a chance to talk board officials about options to save the school – which was the original Preston High.
Council wants to “work with the school board, not to get into a conflict with the board,” Mayor Doug Craig said.
The school board is expected to confirm the demolition plan at a meeting Monday night. It’s unlikely trustees will backtrack.
“It’s not something I would be recommending the board do,” Ramsay said. “I don’t’ think it’s going to change much.”
The board must push hard to get a new Grand View open for students in fall 2011. There’s no time to waste, he said.
“The board is somewhat sympathetic to heritage, but it’s not at all costs,” Ramsay said.
Waterloo/Wilmot Trustee John Hendry wants to get on with the essential project, too.
“It’s nice to say ‘don’t do anything,’ but unless you have some alternative plan, something I mind, we’re not going to delay for the sake of delay. I won’t support that.”
Cambridge/North Dumfries Trustee Cindy Watson doubted two weeks to talk about the need to replace the school will make any difference – except to delay the inevitable.
“I’m just not clear what the deferral motion wants,” she said.
Elmira Trustee Harold Paisley toured Grand View Tuesday morning. He’s convinced it needs to be replaced with a modern school, despite the nostalgia former students might feel for the building.
“I was looking at it at it functionally. I saw classrooms in the basement of school. I’m thinking this is not the ideal learning environment for youngsters in the 21st century,” he said.
Waterloo/Wilmot Trustee Catherine Fife encourages city and school board communications and wonders exactly what the city wants the board to do with Grand View
“I would be open to a small delay (in demolition), but not a long delay."
03-30-2010, 09:10 AM
Trustees vote to build new Grand View school
David Bebee, Record staff
Grandview Public School on Hamilton Street in Cambridge. 1
David Bebee, Record staff
Grandview Public School on Hamilton Street in Cambridge.
David Bebee, Record staff
Grandview Public School on Hamilton Street in Cambridge
March 30, 2010
By Brent Davis and Kevin Swayze, Record staff
WATERLOO REGION — Public school trustees voted Monday night to move ahead with a $7-million plan to build a new Grand View Public School in Cambridge.
That proposal would also see the existing school — which has 170 students — demolished once students move into the new facility in September 2011. An original $4.6-million plan to expand and renovate the historic building largely fell out of favour as more and more problems were found.
Board chair Mike Ramsay said trustees “put kids first” with their decision. “It’s very clear that Grand View school is not an optimum learning environment.”
Trustees Ted Martin and Catherine Fife voted against the motion, urging fellow trustees to give the decision more time.
Calling it a “beautiful” school that poses some challenges, Fife said she was torn. “I would really like for us to slow down on this and do the right thing.”
Trustees were told that if they deferred a decision until May, a new school wouldn’t be ready for September 2011. More space is needed to accommodate about 150 students from the Deer Ridge area in Kitchener, who today overload Preston Public School.
The board may still have to find a plan B should Cambridge city council decide to designate the school under the provincial Heritage Act.
On Monday night, council took no action. The proposal from the city’s heritage advisory committee will be voted on April 12. A designation would empower council to reject a demolition permit in future.
But Ramsay said following the school board meeting he was confident Cambridge councillors would also act in the best interests of the students.
The board heard from a handful of speakers, equally divided on the issue.
Concerned parent and neighbour Paul Bolduc contrasted the problems the old building had attracted, such as vandalism and drug activity, with the advantages a new environmentally friendly school would bring, like improved security and visibility, increased property values and a reduced carbon footprint.
“So please forgive me if I don’t share the same enthusiasm as other people for keeping the old building intact,” he said.
Brad Paddock, chair of the Cambridge Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee, spoke of the “short-sighted” perspective that a new building is better.
“The greenest building is always the one that is already built,” he said, referring to adaptive reuse projects such as Cambridge City Hall and the Hespeler library as examples where new life has rejuvenated old architectural bones.
In Cambridge, parents presented a 550-name petition to council against designation, allowing for a new, better Grand View to be built.
“History is to be treasured but not at the expense of the future of our children,” said Jeff Duke.
Parent Jennifer O’Connor feared a heritage designation would prompt the school board to undertake another accommodation review, which could lead to closing Grand View as Preston Public and Parkway schools are consolidated.
Jan Liggett spoke in favour of historic designation, and urged the parties to find a solution that serves both the city’s heritage responsibility and creating a healthy school for students.
“Before we destroy 100 years of history, we should take at least a week to look at possibilities,” said Coun. Pam Wolf, who also sits on the city’s heritage advisory committee and supports designation.
Coun. Ben Tucci won’t push heritage designation, fearing it would further polarize the city and school board. School board officials want a new school, said Mayor Doug Craig. He said council should take no action on the heritage designation.
“We don’t want to get into a debate between two levels of government, with the parents and the children ending us as the political football in the middle of this.”
04-13-2010, 09:39 AM
Cambridge won’t block Grand View school demolition
April 13, 2010
By Kevin Swayze, Record staff
CAMBRIDGE — City council won’t halt demolition of Grand View public school, but still wants the Preston landmark saved for posterity.
Councillors on Monday night voted 4-1 against starting the process to protect the 1923 building under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Instead, Mayor Doug Craig — who voted against designation — will continue talks with school officials to find a way to save the building overlooking Hamilton Street.
“I’m ever hopeful. We’re in a very short time frame here. I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up.”
The city’s heritage advisory committee wants council to stop plans to raze the building in exchange for a new and bigger $7 million school. Since it decided a month ago to proceed with demolition, the school board has publicly rebuffed city overtures to save the school. A new Grand View is planned to open in fall 2011, after which the old Grand View would be demolished.
Heritage advocates called for “adaptive reuse” of the old school structure, perhaps gutting it to the bare walls inside and adding on to create the new school parents want. Or a new school would be built separately and the old building converted to other uses — as happened with the old Preston Public School two decades ago.
“Our intentions are the same as the parents. We want to see the best educational experience for the students,” said Brad Paddock, chair of the city’s heritage committee.
Parents again told city councillors not to meddle in school board plans, fearing the old school will be closed and their students dispersed across the city.
“Council is between a rock and hard place,” Preston Coun. Karl Kiefer said before voting against designation.
A compromise to save the school and build a new school on the big property should be possible, said Coun. Ben Tucci. He opposed historic designation because it would polarize the city and school board, preventing any more talks toward a solution that saves the historic building and gives students a modern place to learn
“I’m hoping there’s still enough blue sky out there that the school board will see the error of their ways,” Tucci said.
Coun. Gary Price also voted against designation. Only Coun. Rick Cowsill supported designation.
Coun. Pam Wolf didn’t vote because she is a part-time teacher with the school board. Coun. Linda Whetham didn’t vote because her grandchildren attend Grand View.
09-12-2011, 09:36 AM
According to a an article in the Record today, Grand View School will be apart of Doors Open Waterloo Region, it may be the last time to get a glimpse of the old school.
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