Moncton High moves to the edge of the world (LOL)

Disclaimer: I have no children that went to Moncton High or will go to that school.  This post is a letter to the editor of the T&T with a few extra comments and images.

It’s not so easy to be green.  A recent article suggesting that a high school replacement at Royal Oaks would be “green” lacks some perspective.  It is over 7 km distant from the existing Moncton High.  It is over 3 km to the nearest residential populations making it necessary to bus virtually all students for the lifetime of the school.  Extra-curricular activities will require that parents pick up their children with a car.  That’s the opposite of eco-friendly.

A recent Canadian military report Army 2040: First Look, suggests that “Global reserves of crude oil could become problematic by 2025.”   Others believe the problem is already here and that all of our major capital decisions, like this, should consider this fact.  In simple language – the world is going to change dramatically and the majority of students will be walking to schools in the future.  The Department of Education should be planning for schools on this basis.

Moncton has been consulting with its residents about the type of city that we want and need in the future.   “Plan Moncton” is the process.  (Sustainability, increased density, better urban transportation)  How will we transfer those ideas into reality if we accept proposals which are formulated primarily to meet the needs of a developer?    Moving the school away from the area that it serves promotes urban sprawl and a vehicle-centered life whose future is ending.

I’ve been told that a new school is considerably cheaper than a renovation project.  If that is a primary motivation, a new school could be built adjacent to the existing school on Church Street as the property is large enough.  A transfer of some architectural elements to the new building would preserve the memories of the past but permit an overall energy footprint that truly is green.

Roy MacMullin

 

English high schools with 2 km walking radius

 

 

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3 comments

  1. Marc Thibault (@dearmccoy) · February 27, 2012

    Moncton is far from being public transportation-friendly city. I know people who even had to move to other cities only because they couldn’t afford to get a car or spend hours on a bus/cab to get to work or school everyday. For those of us who can afford to buy a car, they don’t encourage us either to use public transportation as the options are very limited.

    Bottom of the line, if you live in Moncton and want to get around, you need a car and with the winters we’re having around here most people will opt for SUV’s instead of smaller fuel efficient cars. Big cities around the world are making changes to limit the amount of cars on the road, in their cases its’ mostly a question of “crowd control” however, Moncton is a booming city and the city/province should adopt better public transportation plans now before it does becomes a problem. The city and province needs to plan ahead in a more sustainable way.

    That could start by locating the new HS in a more strategic location. And I agree with you Roy that overall, the long-term cost (when including carbon footprint) of renovating the existing amazingly well-located and well-known school would probably end-up costing the same if not cheaper then building a new one. The problem with people in this province is that they always try to take the shortest, easiest way out of everything. Because of that, things needs to be redone over and over again which contribute to greater expenses over the long run. #justmyopinion

  2. roymacmullin · March 2, 2012

    Marc, I agree totally with your opinion. Since I wrote the above letter, I’ve learned that the Irishtown location will cost up to $30 million in infrastructure improvements to the city in addition to the cost of $40 million for the school. A renovation under $70 million would be cheaper on a first cost basis alone. The public transport in Moncton is quite poor and one of the first things council should do is to rethink the concepts being used today.

  3. Micheal mercer · September 18, 2012

    I have a dream; when they eventually build this new school, at the edge of the world, not one student shows up. Even if they are forced to enroll at Royal Oaks High, the kids simply don’t show up on opening day. Now that would send a clear message.

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