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Questions & Answers from our First Event.

At our first event, "Confirming Principles and Moving Ahead," we had an engaging question and answer session. The team at Neighbour Lab captured verbatim notes, which are listed below. We have also expanded on some of the answers to provide additional information that was not available at the time of the session. Please be aware that these additions are marked with "For additional context."

Neighbour on Madison Street: Are you doing parallel engagement with staff, parents, and neighbourhoods?

Yes, all the sessions have been designed to include the school community and the neighbourhood. The goal is to have all stakeholders (students, parents, faculty, staff, neighbours and the broader community) in dialogue together throughout the process.

Is Neighbour Lab contracted by GNS? And what's the debrief?

Is Neighbour Lab aware of the history between the school and the neighbourhood?

What is the current student population of the school and expected population in 10 years? How does the school operate as a non-profit independent school and what does that actually mean? How do I get involved with the Board of Directors? (Suggestion to include some basic information about the school and vision on the website).

At present, are there any community or neighbourhood people on the Board of Directors?

Are you aware of the history of the school? How do you envision the outcome being different?

How can we be certain our concerns and feedback are going to be taken seriously and be reflected in the final outcome? Can we create a code of conduct and implement a binding document for accountability?

What about people who can't attend the sessions, especially since this is being held over the summer months when many people are out of town?

What are the expansion plans, and how will this affect me as a neighbour on Maddison Street?

Why privatize the school system? What do you offer that public education does not?

In 2002, there was extensive neighbourhood engagement, but the actual design differed from what was discussed. There is a pattern that has sewn mistrust between the school and neighbours. How will you address this?

When you say you want to “modernize” the campus, what does this mean? What is the plan, and what projects would you like to see?

If you expand, what areas are you looking at? Does the school have a vision of expanding? How many houses do you own and are you going to use those properties?

When did you develop this engagement procedure? A neighbour has been to meetings, and no master plan was discussed, and now all of a sudden this process is announced to happen over the summer months. How will neighbours and others engage?

When we heard about this process, we felt we had already been left out. This process was sprung upon us and is happening over the summer. If you miss people in the engagement during the summer, how will this impact the outcomes? If people miss a meeting, how are you going to properly build on feedback for the next session?

What is the scope of this design? Are any of the existing buildings needing to be demolished or replaced? Are there new buildings planned? How will we engage if we don't know the impacts or scope of changes that are on the table?

Has there been any seismic audits?

Is this about area expansion or expanding educational idealistic goals?

One of the issues is that if you were a public school, you would be an anchor on the land. The school has continued to buy residential properties over the years and is encroaching on the neighbourhood. Neighbours don't want the school to be growing within the residential area. Will the school never buy another property in the neighbourhood?

Have you consolidated all properties of private homes you own? If you leave lot lines in place, they will encumber future designs.

Will you be posting the functional, physical, and qualitative requirements for the redesign so we know what’s coming and we can prepare for the engagement session? You need to help the community be prepared to go into those workshops to provide meaningful input.

Neighbour — 23 years. Has gone through this process. You want neighbourhood buy-in? You need the ok from the neighbourhood?

Essentially, GNS wants neighbourhood buy-in so you can take it to the City? You need our OK? What mechanism is in place that will ensure that what the neighbourhood is saying will actually be taken into account?

Re-zoning. Have any of the properties in the past been rezoned?

Are any updates within the legal lines that comprise those residential properties?

What are the timelines? Are building assessment audits ready?

GNS is in a middle class neighbourhood. There is no advantage to having the school here because none of us can afford to send our kids there. Is there any advantage to having this school in the neighbourhood? What are the benefits to the community that would make the community want the school?


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