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Calgary Heritage Initiative forums • View topic - Carl Safran & Connaught school redevelopment news

Carl Safran & Connaught school redevelopment news

Status of new or continuing risks to heritage sites

Moderator: newsposter

Carl Safran & Connaught school redevelopment news

Postby newsposter » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:47 pm

:arrow: Last updates summer 2008. Work has begun on the projects at Carl Safran and Connaught Schools.... the Carl Safran gym has been demolished. A lot has happened in the last 2 years. Updates posted at the bottom of page 2 of this thread. Note that some of the links and images below no longer work as the CBE have modified their web pages and the plans for the Carl Safran and Connaught sites.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following updated July 16, 2006

The Calgary Board of Education has announced major plans for the sites of two historic sandstone schools in the Beltline - Carl Safran and Connaught Schools - and development of the school sites. A land use application for the Carl Safran site, and a development permit application for the Connaught site, have been submitted to the City.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Links to history of the Schools:

Central High – Carl Safran
http://www.calgarypubliclibrary.com/cal ... er/chs.htm
* http://www.ourfutureourpast.ca/loc_hist ... ?id=500153

Connaught
http://www.teachers.ab.ca/Quick+Links/P ... tebook.htm
* http://www.ourfutureourpast.ca/loc_hist ... ?id=500181

*From slate pencil to instant ink : Calgary's public, separate and private schools : accounts. by Kay Bourassa, Calgary: Century Calgary Publications, 1975
--------------------------------------------------------------

The Calgary Board of Education is planning to relocate its headquarters to the Carl Safran site, and Connaught school will remain home to K-6 and some other programs. The plans include the retention of the historic buildings, except for the 1940 gymnasium addition on Carl Safran.

The plan involves a public-private partnership with CBE and Bentall. It includes the construction of a Bentall office building to be occupied by CBE headquarters on the east side of the Carl Safran site, and the sale of schoolyard space on both the Connaught and Carl Safran sites for private redevelopment (see the CBE site maps below). Also, a new gym would be attached to the 13th Avenue side Connaught school, which would unfortunately obsure that facade (the current gym is on the east side, which the P3 wants to sell for development).

The treatment of the historic buildings themselves, maintenance of sight-lines and space around the buildings (context), as well as loss of usable open space in a high density residential area, are concerns.

See below for information on park space needs in the Beltline.

Here is a link to CBE for more information:
http://www.cbe.ab.ca/aboutus/ed_centre/ed_centre.asp

Here is the general outline plan:
Image

The site plan for Carl Safran:
Image

The site plan for Connaught School:
Image
Last edited by newsposter on Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:05 pm, edited 19 times in total.
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Beltline schoolyards may be sold for condos

Postby newsposter » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:58 pm

Beltline schoolyards may be sold for condos

Last Updated: Friday, July 14, 2006 | 9:42 AM MT

CBC News

The Calgary Board of Education wants to sell off schoolyards in the Beltline area to developers, who would likely build condos on the green space.

The schoolyards are an oasis in a sea of condos and apartments.

But the school board's plan to restore both old schools and build a new headquarters would require subdividing and selling off some of the green space.

That has already raised the ire of some residents of the area, which has the lowest percentage of parks per capita in the city.

Neighbourhood resident David Wollf spends most afternoons with his daughter in the schoolyards.

"We are a little bit saddened because this is a nice little spot," he said. "People used to play soccer in the field there and this park was a good lunchtime spot."

The board has no choice, said spokeswoman Barb Kuester, because selling off the land would help pay for the new building. Kuester said a developer would probably build more condos.

The board wants to move its headquarters from the downtown core to the Carl Safron Centre at 12 Avenue and 8 Street SW. It also wants to refurbish Connaught school just down the street.

The two historic sandstone buildings sit on about a square city block each of what is now prime land.

The alderman for the neighbourhood, Madeleine King, says there's going to have to be a trade-off.

"We don't want to push the school board out of the city, we want them to feel comfortable with doing this wonderful renovation to a heritage property," she said.

The school board's plans for both schools are still in the early stages. Both King and Kuester said there will be much more community involvement before the plans go further.

:arrow: See the post above for more information.
Last edited by newsposter on Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby newsposter » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:29 pm

Open Space issue summary.

The P3 proposal for the development of the Carl Safran and Connaught school sites in the Beltline involves the retention of the sandstone buildings, the construction of a new CBE HQ building at Carl Safran, and the sale of other open space for private development. See above for details and the CBE site plans.

The desirability of keeping the schoolyards as usable open space is recognized in the 2006 Beltline ARP and 2006 Open Space Strategy for Established Communities (OSSEC). See below for some excerpts.

Link to the Open Space Strategy for Established Communities:
http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/ ... nities.htm
Link to the Beltline ARP page:
http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/ ... anning.htm

From the OSSEC backgrounder:

Inner City community clusters [“This study grouped the communities into (clusters) because it presents a more realistic view of the quantity of local open space and greatly improves the analysis of the adequacy of open space quantity in older communities in general… The clusters were based on the distribution of open space and geographic barriers.”] had on average about 2.3 hectares of open space per 1000 people. The typical suburban community has 2.5 to 5 hectares of open space per 1000 people. Beltline has 0.6 hectares per 1000. (OSSEC backgrounder)

“The Beltline Area has the highest residential densities, the lowest quantity of local open space, and the lowest quantity of private open space. At the same time, the area has the least likelihood for improvements in quantity due to high land costs.” (OSSEC backgrounder)

“Parks should be upgraded to a higher standard in the Downtown, Beltline, and Lower Mount Royal, which have the highest population densities, the highest projected population growth, the lowest per capita open space quantity in the city, and the highest employment population. For the same reasons, land should be acquired for new parks in these areas to serve residents and workers.” (OSSEC recommendation)

From the 2006 Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan:

“The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) is proposing to redevelop both the Carl Safran and Connaught School Sites. The Carl Safran site is designated Primarily Residential and Urban Mixed-Use and the Connaught School Site is designated Primarily Residential. In considering the future of these sites, it is The City of Calgary’s objective to preserve the heritage buildings, retain significant park and open space on each site and support the continued use of Connaught School as a public elementary school. To that end, The City will work in co-operation with the CBE to develop mutually beneficial redevelopment plans. This may include the use of a Special Policy Area designation.” (Beltline ARP)
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Postby newsposter » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:02 pm

Green space up for sale
Educators say plan to sell part of schoolyards will help finance expansions
By PABLO FERNANDEZ, CALGARY SUN

http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/200 ... 92014.html

Towers, not grass, will grow in Beltline schoolyards once a plan by the Calgary Board of Education to sell school green space in the inner city goes ahead.

Office buildings and condos will go up next to the Carl Safran Centre, at 12 Ave. and 8 St. S.W., and Connaught school, at 1121 12 Ave. S.W., once the board sells a majority of the school land.

The move will pave the way for a bigger facility for the CBE, which says it has run out of room at its current downtown location, and for renovating Connaught without digging into the public purse, board trustee Pat Cochrane said yesterday.

"We're doing this so that we can finance this project because we certainly don't want to take money from our school capital budget for this," Cochrane said.

"By selling off these sites, we can basically finance these projects entirely.

"There is some loss of green space for the community but we think it's important to do this because we're preserving two of our very important historical sandstone buildings."

Carl Safran, formerly a school, will be turned into an office building with underground parking, and while some of the surrounding green space will be used as a site for an administrative tower for the CBE, the rest of the block will be sold to developers for condominium projects, Cochrane said.

"We will landscape it so that there will still be a park area but the playing field on the west end of that site will no longer be available to the community," she said.

Connaught, meanwhile, will remain a working school with a playground and sports field but part of the land will also be turned into condos, said Cochrane.

But the project infuriates area Ald. Madeleine King.

"There's a lot of anxiety .... because open space is so limited and so important in the beltline," she said.

"I think it's just awful that we need to do so much in order to protect public, open spaces -- a soccer field."

But King doesn't blame the CBE, which she said has little choice but to get rid of the land.

"I think that it's the province that's put us in that situation and it's just terrible for all Calgarians," she said.

"Something is completely screwy -- we shouldn't even be having this conversation.

"The school board is caught between a rock and a hard place."
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Postby newsposter » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:05 pm

This is the CHI response to the land use application for the Carl Safran School site. See above for more information and news stories.

LOC2006-0055
Carl Safran School Site

July 18, 2006

Andrew Palmiere, File Manager

The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society supports the desire of the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) to retain and reuse the Beltline’s sandstone schools. We do, however, have a number of concerns related to this land use application.

1. We commend the CBE for proposing to retain and reuse the historic sandstone Carl Safran school (originally the Calgary Collegiate Institute, then Central High School). The 'turn of the century classroom' idea in the application is very inventive. The specific plans for renovating the school have not yet been presented, but retaining the maximum historic fabric is strongly encouraged. Carl Safran is an historic landmark of great significance to the city, and there should be some certainty with respect to the treatment of its heritage fabric, and security for its long-term future. Municipal or provincial designation to ensure the protection of the building is warranted, and given the provincial significance of the building, the City may want to seek a provincial Heritage Resource Impact Assessment. We note that heritage designation may afford CBE with tranferrable density under the provisions of the Beltline ARP.

2. Present plans include demolition of the 1940 gymnasium addition. The gym has been deemed to have heritage value by the Calgary Heritage Authority, being on the municipal inventory as a category C building.
Consideration should be given to the reuse of this structure, or at least the retention of some characteristic architectural elements.

3. The school was conceived to be surrounded by open space as the dominant structure. This affords views of the building from many vantage points and allows sunlight into the building. The context afforded by the school grounds, and perhaps the history of the grounds themselves (for example, future CFL player and premier Peter Lougheed, a graduate of Central High School, likely learned the game here), are arguably part of the historic significance of the site. To retain the context and sightlines, as much as possible of the open space should be retained. If new buildings are included on the site, their location, massing and design should be carefully considered to minimize impact on the school and the open space, and to honour the prominence of the school. The proposed redevelopment of most of the open space for commercial and residential buildings makes this difficult to achieve.

A few specific points to consider:

a) 8th Street is a major vehicular and pedestrian corridor and there should be protection of views of the school from 8th Street. The relationship between historic High School Terrace on 9th Street and the school is also notable and should be protected by a clear line of sight between them.

b) The proposed southern boundary of the proposed new development is on a line parallel with the south-facing primary façade of the school. This does not give sufficient prominence to the school nor does it adequately protect sight lines. It seems that any new development should, at the very least, stay north of the north-south mid-block line.

c) The very large floorplate of the proposed Bentall office building (CBE headquarters), 20,000 square feet or 1858 square meters (as communicated by the applicant at a community meeting), seems quite overwhelming and disproportionate to the school. A smaller floor plate would be more appropriate to the historic setting, and should be defined in the land use.

4. Finally, we have noted the importance of open space to historic context and sightlines, but open space in its own right is also important to area residents and the future prospects of the community (this is noted in the
2006 Beltline ARP and 2006 Open Space Strategy for Established Communities). Aside from the construction of a CBE headquarters on the east side of the site, the CBE proposes to sell most of the western side of the site for residential development. Furthermore, the CBE proposes to sell the east part of the property at nearby Connaught School for high density redevelopment, and relocate the gym onto other open space. The Beltline has by far the least amount of park space per capita in Calgary and is expected to substantially increase in population. It presently supports a large young adult population that would make use of well-designed playing fields and parks. The retention and improvement of open space would support liveability, growth and population diversity in this area. As the remaining Connaught open space will presumably be managed as a K-6 playground, the Carl Safran open space probably has more potential and flexibility to meet a variety of park needs. The prospect of acquiring equivalent land in the area for park space is extremely remote, given development patterns and land prices. In short, the loss this amount publicly-owned open space to development seems short-sighted, and requires a solution likely involving CBE, the City and the Province.

A solution that preserves both heritage and significant public open space would be in the public’s best interest.

(We may have more comments on this project as more information becomes
available.)

Thank you,

Janet Woolgar
President, Calgary Heritage Initiative Society
info@calgaryheritage.org
www.calgaryheritage.org

cc.
Ald. Madeleine King
Mayor Dave Bronconnier
Harvey Cenaiko, MLA
Darryl Cariou, Heritage Planner
Beltline Planning Group
The Applicant (Gibbs Gage Architects)
Other recipients
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Postby josh white » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:16 pm

well done on the letter. Beltline Planning Group's is near completion. Probably a little more cutting even.
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Postby newsposter » Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:31 pm

Excerpts of a message from Ald. King's office in reply to CHI's letter on the Carl Safran land use application (July 25):

Thank you for contacting Alderman King regarding your concerns with the
Carl Safran site.

The Calgary Board of Educations proposal for the land at the Carl Safran
site at 930 13th Ave SW has created a lot of interest in the Beltline
Community. This proposal is in the early stages of discussions and
Alderman King has ensured that public consultation will take place in
the fall, before any decisions are made. Maintaining open space and
heritage buildings within the Beltline Community as well as keeping a
strong educational presence in the area will be primary concerns with
discussions regarding this proposal.

There will be updates as they arise on our website at
www.madeleineking.ca and we will also send out emails updates periodically...
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CHI response to the Connaught school gymnasium application

Postby newsposter » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:19 pm

CHI response to the Connaught school gymnasium application below. See above for information about CBE plans for Connaught and Carl Safran school sites. More information and photos will be added soon.


DP2006-2283
Connaught School DP

August 9, 2006

Andrew Palmiere, File Manager

The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society does not support DP2006-2283.

We applaud the intention of the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) to retain
Connaught School as a public school. However, aspects of the proposed
development are not acceptable.

The gymnasium addition to Connaught School would hide the important south
façade, including the traditional boy’s and girl’s entrances. To best
minimize the impact on the school and views of the school, the gym should
be located on the eastern, tertiary façade, in the vicinity of where the
current gym sits.

Many residents face Connaught School from the south, and 13th Avenue is an
important pedestrian route, identified as a greenway deserving of special
attention in the Beltline ARP. Historic landmarks like Connaught, Carl
Safran, Lougheed House, Central Park, etc. contribute greatly to 13th
Avenue. The gymnasium as proposed would hide the sandstone school along
most of the 13th Avenue frontage. If the eastern portion of the school
property is also filled by new high density development, as the CBE is
proposing, the sandstone school will be even more hidden - from 13th
Avenue and 10th Street as well.

The south location is preferred by the applicant because it is the school
board’s intention to sell the eastern third of the school property for
private development. This seems an unwise disposition of publicly-owned
open space, i.e. potential park space, in an area where park space is at
premium. (See below for more on this.) Nevertheless, a new gymnasium on
the east façade would still leave considerable land east of the school for
redevelopment, and could conceivably be incorporated in such a
development.

The paving of the formal entry in front of the 12th Avenue primary façade
for surface parking is also not acceptable. Alternatives include: (a)
continued use of the surface parking lot on the NE corner of the site, (b)
placement of parking underneath the new gymnasium, especially if it is
located on the eastern side of the property, (c) inclusion of school
parking within any private development on the school property.

In general, renovations to the school building should be kept to a minimum
and retain the historic fabric. Any new gymnasium should be free-standing
and attached to the school in a manner that does not seriously interfere
with the sandstone. Municipal or provincial designation of Connaught
school would be appropriate for the long-term protection of the historic
building, and to help ensure sympathetic renovation. The City or the
Calgary Heritage Authority may wish to request a provincial Heritage
Resource Impact Assessment of this important landmark.

(The following comments on context and open space are similar to what we
communicated in our response to the Carl Safran land use. The twin
projects are clearly connected, and raise similar issues in this regard.)

The school was conceived to be surrounded by open space as the dominant
structure. This affords views of the building from many vantage points and
allows sunlight into the building. The context afforded by the school
grounds, and perhaps the history of the grounds themselves, are arguably
part of the historic significance of the site. To retain the context and
sightlines, as much as possible of the open space should be retained. If
new buildings are included on the site, their location, massing and design
should be carefully considered to minimize impact on the school and the
open space, and to honour the prominence of the school.

Open space in its own right is also important to area residents and the
future prospects of the community (as noted in the 2006 Beltline ARP and
2006 Open Space Strategy for Established Communities). The CBE plans to
sell the eastern third of the school property, and locate the gym on open
space to the south of the school. Furthermore, the CBE proposes to sell
much of the open space at nearby Carl Safran for high density density
redevelopment, and relocate the gym onto other open space. The Beltline
has by far the least amount of park space per capita in Calgary and is
expected to substantially increase in population. It presently supports a
large young adult population that would make use of well-designed playing
fields and parks. The retention and improvement of open space would
support liveability, growth and population diversity in this area. The
prospect of acquiring equivalent land in the area for park space is
extremely remote, given development patterns and land prices. In short,
the loss of this amount of publicly-owned open space to private
development at the two Beltline school sites seems short-sighted.

A solution that preserves both heritage and significant public open space
would be in the public’s best interest.

We may have more comments on this project in the future.

Thank you,

Bob van Wegen
External Director, Calgary Heritage Initiative Society
info@calgaryheritage.org
www.calgaryheritage.org

cc.
Ald. Madeleine King
Mayor Dave Bronconnier
Harvey Cenaiko, MLA
Darryl Cariou, Heritage Planner
Beltline Planning Group
The Applicant (Gibbs Gage Architects)
Other recipients
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why is it always gibbs gage....

Postby luckyitem » Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:33 pm

You'd think by now, given the track record of their ubiquitous developer focused design strategies, the city would consider working with an Architect who designs with innovation, rather than with Gibbs Gage.... :?

Good design costs just as much, or can be cheaper than bad design .. :wink:
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Postby newsposter » Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:39 pm

In reply to your comment, Luckyitem, Gibbs Gage is working with the Calgary Board of Education and their private partner Bentall - the City is not involved. It is City policy to secure as much of the site as possible for longterm public park space, so the City's policy goals would seem to be at odds with CBE, which wants to sell much of both sites for private redevelopment. (Incidentally, Bentall is also a partner with Gibbs Gage on the Sheldon Chumir Health Centre at the former Col. Belcher site, and the South Calgary Health Centre).
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Postby luckyitem » Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:57 am

I'm sorry, I must've missed that!
Well if the CBE is in with GG and Bentall...now I'm terrified.
There goes quality control, and sensativity to existing conditions :cry:
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Postby mdp » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:26 am

Exactly. I think if if the Sheldon Chumir Health Center is any indication of Gibbs Gage's work, we have good reason to be concerned. They design glass boxes that belong in suburban office parks, not urban character neighborhoods. I'm not against the CBE's development, I'd just like to see it done properly.
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Postby Bob van Wegen » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:38 pm

An update from Madeleine King on the current Situation re: Carl Safran Site and Connaught School

The Carl Safran Site land use application has been put on hold pending discussions between The City and the CBE, especially regarding open space and heritage status. I am hopeful we will be able to preserve the open space to the west of the building; this will be accomplished through a purchase of this part by The City. None of the major changes proposed to the site can take place without a Public Hearing in front of City Council, at which anyone can be heard. There will also need to be development permits for any new or changed buildings. There will be at least one public open house before any of this proceeds.

The Connaught School development permit application is under consideration by the Planning authority, although discussions are also taking place between The City and the CBE regarding this site too. The development permit process will involve the normal public input.

In dealing with these sites The City is very aware of the limited amount of open space in the community and the importance of the open space currently provided on these two sites. We’ll do our very best to preserve it!

Also The City is currently working on preliminary designs for 13th Avenue to become a “greenway” as recommended in the ARP – and will seek to ensure these sites present a good interface with the “greenway”.

Madeleine King
Sept. 22, 2006
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Letters from provincial ministers

Postby newsposter » Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:09 pm

Provincial Ministers respond to inquiries about the situation

In the early fall of 2006 CHI members met with MLA Harvey Cenaiko regarding the Connaught and Carl Safran sites. The provincial government is involved with the sites both from a school-building point of view (Minister of Infrastructure at the time - Ty Lund) and heritage (Minister of Community Development at the time - Denis Duscharme). Harvey wrote to the ministers and replied to CHI. Below are responses from the ministers, forwarded by MLA Cenaiko. Thank you Harvey for persuing this.

November 2006

I have received a response from our letter to the Honourable Ty Lund. I am quoting from his letter below:

“Please note while Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation prepared the research and background material on this redevelopment, Alberta Education if the lead Ministry. I am providing the following history surrounding the Calgary Board of Education’s (CBE) plans for your information.

In March 2006, after consultation with staff from Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation, the CBE submitted a letter outlining its proposal for this redevelopment (Attachment #1). The board was seeking additional approvals as per the School Act, the Disposition of Property Regulation, and the School Buildings and Tendering Regulation.

Subsequent to this letter and in discussion with solicitors from Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, a joint response was provided to the CBE granting approvals requested (Attachment #2). The board is innovative and creative in its approach, especially in light of the fact no government funding for this project is requested.

Buildings other than school buildings fall under section 198 of the School Act and are not subject to government approval, although we do encourage all school boards to keep us informed on these types of projects.

It is our understanding the CBE is scheduled to meet with the Mayor of Calgary this month regarding similar concerns over the loss of green space in the beltline community of Calgary. The city is reviewing the plans to subdivide the site into three parcels, and it is possible the city may wish to purchase one of these parcels for green space. The CBE is willing to re-examine this aspect and does not oppose this option, given the community interest. I also understand the CBE wishes to preserve the historical significance of the sandstone structures in its redevelopment.

The Dr. Carl Safran School site is owned by the CBE, and has been since 1907, when the land was a part of a transfer under the Dominion Lands Grant. Therefore, decisions regarding the redevelopment of this site and the green space affected will need to be raised with the CBE.

The answers to your specific questions are as follows:

1. Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation has no role in this redevelopment project. The school board will be required to go through the normal development application process with the City, which will involve community input.

2. The Minister of Community Development will be responding to this question.

3. We as a government cannot play an effective role on a site we do not own.

I trust this explains the situation satisfactorily.”


I have received a response from our letter to the Honourable Denis Ducharme. I am quoting from his letter below:

“My department staff received an assessment of the heritage values of the Dr. Carl Safran School from Calgary architect David Whiting in 2001. On the basis of this information, they recommended that the school be designated a Provincial Historic Resource. Mayor Al Duerr, the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), and Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation were informed of the assessment and subsequent recommendation. At the time, Alberta Community Development did not proceed with designation pending greater understanding of the CBE’s and Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation’s intentions for site development. My department’s opinion continues to be that the Dr. Carl Safran School merits designation as a Provincial Historic Resource.

We have not undertaken a formal evaluation of the Connaught School. Our normal procedure is to review the status of properties in light of how the local community perceives their significance, in this case by how the schools have been ranked on Calgary’s own Inventory of Potential Historic Places. Connaught is listed as a “Category B” site on this Inventory. Normally we only require Historical Resource Impact Assessments for “Calgary A” sites. However, I am prepared to require an assessment of the Connaught School if that is appropriate.

The retention of open space around the school structures may not be essential to preserving their heritage values. Often the placement of compatible infill development on larger properties such as this can provide necessary resources to enable the preservation and rehabilitation of the historic structures themselves.

I have asked my department staff to contact the appropriate individuals at Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation to discuss these matters in more detail.”
Last edited by newsposter on Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby newsposter » Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:17 pm

^^ See above for much more

In the summer of 2006, the Calgary Heritage Initiative replied in writing to CBE plans for the Carl Safran and Connaught School sites (see above).
Early in the fall, members of CHI met with Alderman Madeleine King and area MLA Harvey Cenaiko regarding the CBE's plans for the Connaught and Carl Safran School sites. (Mr. Cenaiko wrote to the provincial ministers at the time; their responses are posted above)

Our basic position in those meetings (boiled down from the letters posted above) is laid out below. Since then, there have been some new developments, including the withdrawal of condo plans for the Connaught site, and negotiation between the City and CBE over the open space on the Carl Safran site. An open house on Carl Safran is scheduled for February 15: http://www.calgaryheritage.org/CHIForum/vi ... ?p=739#739

Below is a summary of some issues:



Both schools should be designated as historic sites (either provincial or municipal designation) to ensure that their heritage value would be protected during renovations and for posterity. The CBE intends to preserve Connaught as a school, and use Carl Safran as their new headquarters, but has traditionally resisted designation.



Preserving the open space around the schools preserves sight-lines to the buildings and the historic context. Most importantly, the Beltline is very deficient in open space, a situation that will only get worse as more condos are developed and the population increases.

CBE had intended to sell off the eastern third of the Connaught site for private redevelopment, and relocate the gym to the south side of the school where it would cover up the important south facade. But late last year it was it was determined that the Connaught school site is a 'dollar site' that would revert to the City if declared 'surplus', and therefore it can't be sold off for redevelopment. The other plans for the school are still moving ahead.

CBE also intended to sell off the western part of the Carl Safran site for residential development. CBE apparently owns the Safran site and can attempt this. However, at last report the City was negotiating with the CBE to purchase this land for public open space, but it is not a done deal and CBE has applied for a subdivision to sell some of the land for condos. In her last newsletter, alderman Madeleine King said she remained committed to try to preserve the land as open space. Expect to learn more about this at the February 15 open house. :arrow: Further news - the land was eventually purchased by the City for park space.[/b]



In spite of the withdrawal of the condo proposal for the Connaught site, the CBE still intends to build a new gymnasium on the south facade of the building, where it would cover up the historic 'boys and girls' entrances (see photo) and hide the sandstone school from view along 13th Avenue. It would also divide the playground at the SE corner of the site from the rest of the schoolyard, which seems unwise. CHI and the Beltline Community Association wants the new gym built at the east side of the school, where it would not block the facade, and would leave more contiguous open space. 13th Avenue is being promoted in the draft Centre City plan as an important 'greenway' linking many historic sites. The CC plan, contrary to CBE, also identifies the proposed gym location as 'open space'.
Glenbow website photo:
Image



CHI also supports for the retention and re-use of the architecturally important 1940s gym on the Carl Safran school site (photo below). CBE intents to demolish the gym and replace it with meeting and conference facililties; CHI wants the existing structure to be modified for this purpose.

Leigh Dehaney photo Image



The CBE intends to build a new CBE headquarters building on the east side of the Carl Safran site. Early plans indicated quite a massive building with a large floorplate and footprint. CHI says that the building should be massed so that it does not overwhelm the school, and should be on a modest footprint on the NE corner of the site. See our letter above for more detail on this.
Last edited by newsposter on Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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