I am writing in regard to the School District's proposal to sell a section of Parkland and Porter Elementary fields. In the case of Porter, this would leave the children with a third of their current grassy play space, half the play equipment, and no where to put a substitute.
This would have a huge impact on the health and education of our students, as well as the hundreds of people who use our fields for soccer. But why should people without Porter Elementary students care? Two reasons:
1. It's a bad deal. A $4 million profit from 17 building lots in Coquitlam - building lots which could be sold for over half a million each. The profits are to be assigned to undisclosed 'capital projects,' which means they either don't have a clear plan, or have one that will be hard to sell to the public, for example, school board office space. And don't forget the costs to taxpayers of three years of planning this project without consultation.
2. It's the thin edge of the wedge. Once these lands are sold, the school board will feel free to shave off pieces of all school lands until we are in the same state as schools in London, U.K., with tiny asphalt yards. We live in a growing community which will need more school space, not less.
Buying back land will cost much more money in the future than selling it earns us now.
Alice Hutchings-Niwinski Coquitlam (and a Porter Elementary parent)