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Ridpath PS readied for additional students
BY TERRY GILLIS
Over the past several weeks, local residents, parents and students watched the progress of the construction at Ridpath PS as the school was readied for the temporary housing of additional elementary and junior high school children.
On September 1, one resident, Lizzie Shanks, commented on the destruction of green space and the removal of a mature tree in front of the school on social media and sent a letter to Kawartha Pine Ridges District School Board (KPR) Chairman, Cathy Abraham.
Shanks’ post generated numerous comments and speculation.
The Lakefield Herald spoke with Ms. Diane Lloyd, KPR Trustee for Lakefield, on Friday, September 1.
Lloyd said that the first priority of KPR is to ensure that the students have a positive learning environment and a safe one. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure students are safe,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said that the tree that had to be removed was an Ash tree and had nothing to do with the preparations for the incoming students. Although the tree had been vaccinated against the Emerald Ash Borer beetle, the mature tree was not healthy. It was being held up by wires and on the advice of the arborist the Board consulted with, it was removed.
As for the temporary construction, said Lloyd, KPR kept costs at a minimum by utilizing their own in-house contractors. The surfacing used for the additional parking area at the side of the school is “loose ‘A’ gravel and is not permanent,” said Lloyd. The additional portables that have been moved onto the parking lot, Lloyd said “are part of KPR’s inventory and do not represent an additional cost.” As she noted, they are portable and when the new school is completed and the portables no longer needed, “they’ll just go somewhere else.”
The KPR are optimistic that the new Lakefield District Public School will be completed by the end of 2017.