The two secondary school representatives were at council to ask for a grant of $30,000 a year for three years to help pay for the $850,000 revamp of the facility. About 25% of the 1,400 students at ENSS live in Cramahe.
This is not a pie-in-the-sky idea.
The planning committee has a commitment from the Municipality of Brighton for $200,000. It is based on matching donations from the community. Quinte West students make up about 30% of the school population. That municipality has pledged $50,000. The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB) has chipped in another $140,000. If the matching grants are maximized, the organisers can now count on $590,000 of their total.
In his powerpoint presentation, Principal, Jeff Kawzenuk, took council through the history of the track and field and the way to a better future.
He explained there has been a need for a long time. The school has a long history of academic, artistic and athletic excellence and it has been a consistent contributor to the feeder communities.
ENSS has won the Bay Of Quinte track and field championships for 25 consecutive years, a dominance that is unlikely to be matched anywhere in the province. The teaching of sports is an element in the development of capable adolescents.
The existing track is 50 years old and beyond repair, and it is too small. Despite being a dominant player in secondary sports and the largest school in the KPRDSB, ENSS cannot adequately host any track and field events. With the proposed facility, the school can host regional, provincial and national events.Local athletes can be showcased in front of a home audience.
ENSS has a large group of special needs students. With a new track and field the school could host a special olympics event.
The current field is unsafe. It has poor drainage and wears out.
The school recognises it can't do this alone. It must be a partnership with the community. The two presenters pointed out how the partnership is a two-way street. Relay for Life, the Terry Fox Foundation, local walking clubs and soccer teams all benefit directly from student fundraising and organization. They have also paid for most of an eight-room school built in Tanzania and collected money so that 105 children had Christmas presents last year. Cramahe foodbanks received a portion of the 10-foot high pile of food collected last December. Businesses and local communities are stronger with a better-equipped school. And the students who attend the school deserve to learn using the best possible facilities.
The planned project will have a six-lane track worth $440,000, an irrigated field which costs $147,000, and environmentally lighting valued at $113,000.
Perhaps in anticipation of a council question, Mr. Kawzenuk explained the need to ask fro money from the local communities. Every secondary school is facing the same kinds of needs. The KPRDSB must share its resources equally and it can't pay for everything. The school is reaching out to the community to fill the void.
The fundraising committee will also be seeking grant money from various agencies, including the Trillium Foundation. They hope to have the fundraising done by May,2011 and the track and field installed by that fall.
The educators did not get an answer to their financial request. Mayor Marc Coombs told them it is a tough budget year. Council has had numerous requests for money and not all Cramahe kids attend ENSS. A decision will be made later this spring after council has pared down the draft budget for 2010.