Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Port-a-Pac update: Roof Leaks and Water Damage

The 2014-2015 school year opened with the discovery of water damage to our aging port-a-pac yet again. Over the years this port-a-pac has required many expensive repairs to the roof and structure. Now there are health and safety concerns: mould.
Secord Elementary, port-a-pac water damage, September 2014
Mould was found in the porta-pacs on the first day of school. The leaks were patched, and visible areas  were treated, however more evidence of leaks has been found in the weeks since. Another heavy rainfall in Toronto on October 16th resulted in yet more water damage, and the mould that can result could quickly become a major health issue to staff and students. Permanent change needs to happen, and yet we wait for action.Secord Elementary, port-a-pac water damage, October 16th, 2014
In 2012, in the hopes of replacing our aging port-a-pac with a permanent structure,  we consulted and worked with our community to complete the DA Morrison Pupil Accommodation Review: Secord would become a K-8 school, Parkside would close, their students joining DA Morrison which would become a K-8 school with French Immersion.

However, since that time, nothing has happened. No more plans have been made, nothing has moved forward at the TDSB, and no one will prioritize Secord's place in future funding plans. Our school communities have been stuck in limbo, our port-a-pac continues to deteriorate, and there is no current path forward.

The reality is, we need to stop spending our limited funds on temporary band-aid repairs to our port-a-pac, and invest in a much needed and overdue permanent facility. The health of our staff and students requires action, we need a proper addition.

The most common health problems associated with exposure to mould are:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Runny nose, sinus congestion
  • Frequent cold symptoms
  • Increased asthma attacks
  • Increased or new allergic reactions
We want the failing porta-pac at Secord Elementary School replaced with a bricks-and-mortar building that will not only accommodate the current, already over capacity, student population, but allow room for growth as the community's wishes for Secord to transition to a K-8 school are honoured.

Repairs will not make Secord's Porta-pac safe, please e-mail your concerns to: (Superintendent) (Trustee) (MPP) (Minister of Education)