|View of CPS from toboggan slide across river circa 1957|
Harry Pellow, a member of a pioneer Chapleau family signed letter on behalf of group. Harry was architect for Chapleau Civic Centre, Chapleau General Hospital, Cedar Grove Lodge and Chapleau Recreation Centre.
Feel Free to send me comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will forward them to the group.
Dear Ms. Sarlo:
We understand that the Algoma District School Board has decided to proceed with the demolition of the Chapleau Public School, a process that is apparently being undertaken without public consultation. We have been unable to find any indication that the board followed the normal process under Ontario legislation to deal with property in excess to the Board's needs. We understand that the school is currently surplus to your needs; however we respectfully suggest it is not surplus to the requirements of Chapleau and no consideration seems to have been given to alternative uses, many of which can provide economic benefit to a community already sorely in peril.
Since there has been no apparent consultation and because there has been no open discussion on this matter, the citizens are unable to contribute to the furtherance of this matter to nurture public benefit. We heartily recommend you seriously consider delaying or recalling the bid, revisiting the requirements of the community, and reviewing alternative uses for this important historic building and site in the town.
As elections are currently underway for a new municipal council in Chapleau and for the district school board, we respectfully recommend that no further action on the planned demolition take place until after the new council and board have an opportunity to revisit other possibilities for the school.
We do not know the extent of the additional time required to revisit this decision, but we can't believe that you would jeopardize economic, social and a planning opportunities that can be easily identified if the process you have currently undertaken is delayed.
I am writing on behalf of, and with the support of, several present and past citizens of Chapleau. There are several members of the community who believe there is merit in this building being retained and we would like the opportunity to review them with you. Considering this is a very, very important political period in Chapleau (local election), careful consideration needs to be given to the outcome that may arise from a bad judgment (if it is a bad judgment) of the demolition that we read about in the Chapleau Express.
We also strongly believe that the wider Chapleau community must be given the opportunity to express their views as part of a consultation process. We are well aware that the public and secondary school taxpayers in Chapleau no longer have direct representation on the school board, so they do not have a local trustee to whom they may address their concerns.
Copies of this correspondence are being directed to the present mayor and council in Chapleau, the local MPP, the premier of Ontario, the minister of education of the province of Ontario, editor of the Chapleau Express, and other interested parties.
We would appreciate your acknowledgement of this letter and urge the board that the current decision with respect to the demolition action and announcement that is already in play be delayed until the voice of the citizens most affected can be heard in a public consultation process.
Thank you. Sincerely
Harry Pellow FRAIC
On behalf of Save Chapleau Public School Working Group