February 25, 2009
A meeting of the Property/Operations Committee was held at Westdale Park Public School, 12 Richmond Park Drive, Napanee, on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, at 5:30 p.m.
L. French, Chair
M. Akey, Supervising Principal
G. Carson, Manager of Facility Services
B. Hunter, Director of Education
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
H. Lutz, Vice-Principal, Westdale Park Public School
P. Mouncey, Principal, Westdale Park Public School
R. Richard, Superintendent of Business Services
W. Toms, Manager, Information Technology Services
B. Woodley, Supervising
Principal and Executive Assistant
S. Wowk, Manager, Tri-Board Student Transportation Services
Chair French called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting. She thanked Principal Mouncey and Vice-Principal Lutz for hosting the meeting at Westdale Park Public School, and for conducting a tour of the school.
Principal Mouncey and Vice-Principal Lutz withdrew from the meeting.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Long-Term Financing Arrangements for Certain Capital Projects
Superintendent Richard provided a report on the Ministry of Education’s intention to have boards refinance some of th short-term capital debt accumulated under Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the Good Places to Learn (GPTL) initiative. He advised that the Ministry of Education announced on February 18, 2005, that our Board’s allocation under the Stage 1 GPTL initiative was $23,041,672. The GPTL program represented a significant investment for school renewal and new school construction in the province. This funding was in addition to the regular Capital Renewal funding received by the Board each year, as part of the Grants for Student Needs – Legislative Grants. The Ministry of Educatin asked school boards at that time to use short-term financing to fund GPTL Stage 1 projects until these commitments could be
consolidated into a long-term financing vehicle. In October 2006, the Board approved the consolidation of $5,967,000 of short-term debt into 25-year term financing with the Ontario Financing Authority (OFA).
Superintendent Richard reported that in the fall of 2006, the Board received an additional funding allocation of $8,953,728 under Phase II of the GPTL program. During this same time period, the Board also received a funding allocation under the Primary Class Size (PCS) initiative to purchase portables in order to provide additional classroom space in the primary division. The Board also received GPTL Stage III and GPTL Stage IV allocations resulting in a total GPTL funding allocation of approximately $44.8 million for the Board.
Superintendent Richard indicated that as of August 31, 2007, the Board had incurred a total of $12,065,242 in expenditures under the GPTL Stages I and II and the PCS initiatives (in addition to the original of $5,967,000 of GPTL I expenditures already converted to long-term debt). In February 2008, the Board approved the consolidation of this $12,065,242 of short-term debt into 25-year term financing with the OFA.
Superintendent Richard advised that as of August 31, 2008, the Board has incurred a total of $12,061,042 in expenditures under the GPTL Stages 1, 2 and 3 (in addition to the original $5,967,000 and the second tranche of $12,065,242 already converted to long-term debt). This additional capital debt has been financed to date using short-term financing, the total cost of which has been paid for by the government. The Ministry of Education wishes to refinance this debt with longer term financing given that long-term interest rates are favourable at this time.
Superintendent Richard reported that the Ministry of Education is once again planning to have boards obtain long-term financing through the Ontario Financing Authority (OFA), a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario, responsible for provincial borrowing and debt management activities. The plan is to have the OFA make a further 25-year amortization term financing available to boards in March 2009. The principal amount of the financing is intended to cover the value fo the work undertaken prior to August 31, 2008. School boards will receive capital grant payments from the Ministry of Education to cover all interest and principal payments associated with the long-term financing. The Ministry of Education requires all school boards to participate in this long-term financing arrangement.
Superintendent Richard stated that in order to meet the March 2009 deadline for the conversion of our eligible short-term capital debt to the long-term financial instrument, the Ministry of Education and the OFA require Board approval of the by-law and the loan agreement at the March 11, 2009 Board meeting.
Superintendent Richard commented that the Ministry of Education has required that school boards retain external counsel in order to facilitate the long-term financing arrangement. All of the boards in the province, as part of a provincial cooperative initiative, are once again making use of the services of the legal firm of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) in order to save money. Superintendent Richard commented that this is the same legal firm that was retained by school boards (including our Board) in 2006 and 2008 to assist with the long-term financing of the first and second tranches of GPTL I, II and PCS projects as described above.
The total cost to our Board for BLG’s services will once again only be $2,500.
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the Property/Operations Committee recommends to the Board, that the rules of Policy 9 (Board Operations) be waived so that By-Law Number 001-2009 can be adopted.–Carried
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, the Property/Operations Committee recommends to the Board, that the Board approve By-Law Number 001-2009 as attached to authorize the Limestone District School Board to enter into an agreement with the Ontario Financing Authority in order to replace a portion of the existing Good Places to Learn Stage I, Good Places to Learn Stage II, and Good Places to Learn Stage III short-term capital debt (i.e. $12,061,042) with longer term financing as per the instructions of the Ministry of Education; and further; that Senior Staff be authorized to take all appropriate action to implement the new long-term refinancing arrangement as per the by-law and loan agreement between the Board and the Ontario Financing Authority.–Carried
Tender for Building Addition – Limestone Education Centre
Superintendent Richard reported that the budgeted amount for the building addition at the Limestone Education Centre is $964,000; however, all the tenders received were in excess of that amount. He reported that tenders were received from the following contractors:
Contractor Tender Amount
Jeffrey G. Wallans Construction Ltd. $1,148,000.00
Wemp & Smith Construction Ltd. $1,225,169.00
Peak Engineering & Construction Ltd. $1,258,454.00
Emmons & Mitchell Construction $1,261,254.00
M. Sullivan & Son Limited $1,350,000.00
T.A.Andre & Sons (Ontario) Ltd. $1,410,000.00
APM Construction Services Inc. $1,439,000.00
Ross Clair (R.O.M.) Contractors Inc. $1,471,900.00
Superintendent Richard stated that the Board considered all of the factors and the very justifiable reasons when it decided to proceed with an addition to the Limestone Education Centre. Lack of office space continues to be a significant issue for the Board and it is costing money to rent space in some cases.
Superintendent Richard reported that Manager Carson met with the architect to see how the contract could be reduced so that it would be within budget. Superintendent Richard said that the Board could decide to build the main structure, but leave a portion of the inside of the structure unfinished. He said that the educational consultants could then move into the finished part of the addition. He said having only a portion of the inside of the structure completed, it would bring us closer to the budgeted amount. He said that then in another budget year, we could finish the second phase of the building.
Superintendent Richard advised that the Director distributed a document from Deputy Minister Ben Levin, Ministry of Education, that was sent to all Directors of Education related to some proposed fiscal restraint measures. He said that following its receipt Directors and Business officials have been seeking clarification about some of the suggestions in the memorandum; however, no clarification has not been received at this time.
Director Hunter commented on space issues at the Limestone Education Centre, noting that sometimes the Board has to rent space in other facilities in order to hold in-services for staff. She said that the memorandum received from Deputy Minister Levin was a recommendation, not a directive from the Ministry of Education.
Superintendent Richard said that the Board based its budgeted amount of the addition on $200/sq.ft., as staff thought that would be an adequate amount. He said that Manager Carson did a good job with the architect in trying to keep costs to a minimum.
Trustee Jackson stated that he could not support proceeding with an addition at the Limestone Education at this time because of the building rehabilitation needs in the schools operated by the Board.
Trustee Goodfellow suggested that the Board consider a recommendation to finish only a portion of the addition.
Trustee McLaren indicated that the Board is using off-site space for in-service, and questioned how much that costs the Board on a monthly basis.
The Director stated that we need to be mindful in these difficult economic times and in the challenging accommodation review process of what we do. She said that the Board has not received any grant announcements at this time. She also said that the Ministry of Education may be planning a follow-up memorandum. She suggested that perhaps the addition at the Limestone Education Centre be deferred at this time, noting that staff could bring back a redesign of the addition, or that staff could re-tender in the future.
MOVED BY Trustee Murray, the Property/Operations Committee recommends to the Board, that the proposed addition at the Limestone Education Centre be deferred a this time.–Carried
Update Re: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Marg Akey, Supervising Principal, provided an update regarding the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. She said that this Act required the province to develop accessibility standards that applied to the private and public sectors, across the entire province, in order to address and remove barriers for people with disabilities.
Mrs. Akey said that proposed standards are being drafted by the standard development committees in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodations, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.
Supervising Principal Akey provided the following information:
The Standards Development Committees are:
• Customer Service
• Information and Communications
• Built Environment
Accessibility Standards for Customer Services, Ontario Regulation 429/07, January 1, 2008
• Purpose and application
• Effective date – January 2010
• Establishment of policies, practices and procedures
• Use of service animals and support persons
• Notice of temporary disruptions
• Training for staff etc.
• Feedback process for providers of goods & services
• Notice of availability of documents
• Format of documents
Standard is now in draft (last modified January 26, 2009)
• Specifies long-term objectives and technical requirements to prevent and remove barriers to persons with disabilities in the use of passenger transportation services and applies to School Transportation
• Pubic School boards
• Private school boards
• Transportation to and from the public or private school that a pupil attends.
• School transportation must comply with the Emergency preparedness and response requirement and the Responsibilities requirement within one year (after standard is adopted as Reg.)
Information and Communication
• Addresses all manner of conveyance of information and communications, whether orally, in print or electronic
• Educational organizations are Class 3 and the proposed compliance time frame is December 31, 2011
• Broad categories Providers
Developers of information & communication resources
• Draft still in development
• In an accessible built environment, people with disabilities should be able to get in and around and make use of buildings and facilities whether they are .. schools ... or outdoor public spaces.
• Preliminary draft of initial proposed standard to be presented for public review – hope to finalize draft document in May 2009.
• This committee looked at how people with disabilities can be given an equal opportunity to apply for jobs and ways in which workplace policies and practices can be made more inclusive.
• The goal of the draft standard is to help employers create equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities by setting out specific requirements for the recruitment, retention and accommodation of people with disabilities.
• Public review until April 15, 2009.
LDSB Accessibility Working Group
2008-2009 Work Plan includes the:
1. Continuation of work overcoming the barriers of Physical, Architectural, Informational Communications, Attitudinal, Technological and Policy/Practice.
2. Addition of compliance work for standards.
Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC)
• Submitted and received approval for a proposal to build a template for policies, practices and procedures upon which district school boards will be able to base the compliance and for training packages;
• CODE and COSBO are partners with the four Trustee associations in this proposal; and
• Accessibility Working Group will monitor the development of the rest of the standards.
Supervising Principal Akey advised that the LDSB Accessibility Working Group will continue to work within the framework of the Annual Accessibility Plan as determined by the ODA 2001 and add compliance information in the Executive Summary and in the appendices as appropriate.
Chair French advised that she will keep Trustees apprised of OPSBA’s information regarding this matter.
Manager Toms advised that ITS staff attended the School Council meeting at Perth Road Public School wherein the potential tower was discussed. He said that the community was very interested in what was going on. He advised that the County of Frontenac received OMAFRA funding and they have hired a project manager to service the northern part of the county with high speed internet access.
Manager Toms advised that the LDSB is working with its co-terminus boards, as well as the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario to develop a disaster recovery and business continuity project.
Manager Toms reported that the networking cabling RFP should be re-issued in March of this year.
Chair French thanked Manager Toms for his update.
Tri-Board Student Transportation Services
Manager Wowk stated that the cost of fuel is a major issue in Tri-Board Student Transportation Services. He also commented on the recent accidents that have occurred across Tri-Board Student Transportation Services’ district.
The Director stated that Manager Wowk’s staff are doing an excellent job in providing updates with regard to any accidents that occur.
Chair French thanked Manager Wowk for his update.
Manager Carson stated that Facility Services is reviewing its budget at this time, commenting on the amount of sanding done this year thus far, the cost for fuel, and utility consumption.
Manager Carson commented on the new lighting system that is being installed in the gymnasium at Odessa Public School.
Chair French thanked Manager Carson for providing a Facility Services update.
Recess to Private Session
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, that the Property/Operations Committee recess to Private Session.–Carried
Recess to Public Session
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, that the Property/Operations Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Property/Operations Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, 2009, at 5:30 p.m., at H.H. Langford Public School. A suggestion was made that the May meeting be held at Bayridge Secondary School, and a future meeting be held at either Sharbot Lake Public School or the North Addington Education Centre. Superintendent Richard advised that the April meeting is to be held at the Kingston Police Headquarters on Division Street.
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the meeting adjourn at 7:50 p.m.–Carried
Update Re: NDSS Retrofit Project
Superintendent Richard provided an update regarding the Napanee District Secondary School retrofit project.
Update R: Transportation Contract Negotiations
Manager Wowk provided an update regarding transportation contract negotiations.
Update Re: Tri-Board Student Transportation Consortium – Labour Relations
Manager Wowk provided a labour relations update regarding Tri-Board Student Transportation Consortium.
Manager Wowk reviewed correspondence he received from a school bus driver.
Labour Relations Matter
Manager Wowk provided information about a labour relations matter.
Recess to Public Session
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, that the Property/Operations Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried