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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

Postby newsposter » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:40 am

Message from from the CBE website below

For more on this project and the CHI position go here:
http://www.calgaryheritage.org/CHIForum/vi ... .php?t=272


New Education Centre is on the way!

Final strokes are being put on the Land Use Application for the new Education Centre on the Dr. Carl Safran School site, with a projected occupancy of Fall 2009. Currently the application is ready to go before The City of Calgary’s Land Use Approvals authorities to rezone the site for the new buildings – then it’s on to City Council!


The current CBE Education Centre building is more than 40 years old. It has outlasted its usefulness and is not designed to meet the needs of a major, dynamic organization that guides Canada’s leading public school system in the country’s fastest-growing city.


CBE employees need a new headquarters, one with a location and architecture that boldly proclaim the importance of education in the twenty-first century, while celebrating the storied history of our past.


The new Education Centre, to be located at 12 Ave SW and 8th Street, will incorporate the best of old and new, fusing the site’s historic elements with a modern design. The original sandstone building will be refurbished to its former grandeur, including a functional historic classroom. A new conference centre will replace the current gym building, with a link to the new office tower, which will house administration. The complex will be surrounded by an urban plaza with lots of green space. Actual design concepts, tower height, etc. are currently being discussed.

A part of our community engagement process, the Beltline Community Association will be hosting a Public Information Session on the Land Use Approval, in partnership with the CBE and The City of Calgary, to view the development plans. Staff is encouraged to drop by and see for themselves the Land Use Application concepts for the Safran block:

Thursday, February 15
4pm-7pm
Connaught Community School Gymnasium
1121 – 12 Ave SW

Timelines
2007: Land Use agreements, Development Permits, community consultation, design concepts

2008: Construction begins

2009 (Fall): Target Occupancy

Who’s involved
Developer
Bentall Real Estate Services
Architect
Gibbs Gage Architects
Project manager
JRM Realty Advisors Ltd.
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Postby newsposter » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:50 am

The Sun and the Herald report that on Tuesday night March 13, 2007, City Council debated whether to purchase the 'east side' of Carl Safran school for park space. This is where CBE plans to build their new HQ. That bid failed, but the City is still negotiating to buy the 'west side' for park space (at one point the west side had been slated for condos). The sandstone school will be preserved, but the future of the 1940 moderne gymnasium is in doubt. Look for a land use amendment coming forward in the next few weeks. There will be opportunty for more public comment and a public hearing.

Go to the first page of this thread for more information.

Herald story (pay as of posting): http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 2791da922b

Sun story: http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/200 ... 5-sun.html

Thu, March 15, 2007

City misses out on green space
UPDATED: 2007-03-15 02:38:53 MST

By SHAWN LOGAN

The city may have lost its shot at securing some rare green space in the Beltline, a local alderman says.

Following a lengthy debate Tuesday night, city council's attempt to purchase a portion of the downtown property that houses the Dr. Carl Safran Centre was defeated because too few aldermen were present to overturn an earlier decision not to pursue the property.

Ald. Ric McIver said the city had a chance to acquire the eastern third of the property at 12 Ave. and 8 St. S.W., but dropped the ball, likely losing any chance to turn that land into park space.

Robert Graham, strategic co-ordinator for the city's planning department, said the city is negotiating for the western third of the property.
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Postby newsposter » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:41 pm

Proposal for rezoning of the Carl Safran / Central High School site going to Calgary Planning Commission on April 19 2007.

http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/pla ... 6_0055.pdf

This is a two-page thread. More information and history above and on page one.
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Postby newsposter » Thu May 03, 2007 1:01 pm

CBE has posted new information about their revised plans for the Carl Safran / Central High School site. (The old information has been removed, hence some 'dead links' and missing images around the threads on this topic).

http://www.cbe.ab.ca/New/ed_centre_bul1.asp

http://www.cbe.ab.ca/New/ed_centre.asp
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Postby newsposter » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:52 am

Proposal for rezoning of the Carl Safran / Central High School site going to City Council Public Hearing on Monday June 11 2007. Here is the CPC report:

http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/pla ... 6_0055.pdf

This is a two-page thread. More information and history above and on page one.
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Postby newsposter » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:16 am

June 11, 2007

Re. June 11 Public Hearing,
Carl Safran School Site,
CPC2007-063, Proposed BYLAW 15P2007 and 52Z2007

To Calgary City Council:

Mayor David Bronconnier
Ald. Craig Burrows
Ald. Joe Ceci
Ald. Andre Chabot
Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart
Ald. Barry Erskine
Ald. Druh Farrell
Ald. Linda Fox-Mellway
Ald. Bob Hawkesworth
Ald. Dale Hodges
Ald. Ray Jones
Ald. Madeleine King
Ald. Helene Laroque
Ald. Gord Lowe
Ald. Rick McIver

cc: City Clerk,
Darryl Cariou, Heritage Planner
Beltline Communities




Dear Council Members,

The Calgary Heritage Initiative is again pleased to have the opportunity to comment on the plan for Carl Safran School site.

We support some of the changes which have been made to the plan since its first incarnation, especially the creation of public open space west of the school. We thank Council for this. CHI is also pleased that the school board intends to preserve the historic building, and include interpretive elements such as the "turn of the century classroom".

We are disappointed that the CBE intends to demolish the 1940 gymnasium, which is listed on the City inventory (category C), and is a rare Calgary example of art-deco/'Egyptian Revival' architecture. The CBE proposes to build a conference centre on that site. In our view the gymnasium could be re-used for that purpose.

CHI does not feel that the sightlines to the sandstone school from 8th Street are adequately protected. The proposed southern boundary of the new development is in line 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 from 8th Avenue. Any new development on the east side of the school be north of the mid-block line, roughly where the
original 1908 school meets the 1911 addition, and be designed and massed appropriately to acknowledge the prominence of the school.

An issue of great importance to Calgarians is that the school's heritage be formally recognized and protected for posterity. To facilitate this, we ask that the City and the CBE work together to ensure Municipal Heritage Designation of the site.

Designation would ensure that the heritage value of this site is protected through the application of heritage standards and guidelines to the renovations, and is assured in the long term regardless of future changes to ownership or use of the site. Municipal Designation is flexible enough to ensure that historic buildings remain viable and vital into the future.

Designation for heritage protection would seem to be in concert with the CBE's plans for the building in any case.

Carl Safran is a category A heritage site, and all such sites are "worthy of consideration for designation under the Historical Resources Act" according to City policy (city website).
(Additional note: The province has deemed it worthy of provincial designation – see Denis Duscharme letter.).
We suspect that a potential obstacle to designation may be the matter of 'compensation' referred to in the Historical Resources Act. We have two points:

(a) The Historic Resources Act 28(1) says that if designation "decreases the economic value of a building, structure or land that is within the area designated by the bylaw, the council shall by bylaw provide the owner of that building, structure or land with compensation for the decrease in economic value." There should not be a decrease in value given that designation would be in concert with the CBE's plans and this land use redesignation, which purport to preserve the building.

(b) Regardless, we suggest that the compensation requirement need not apply between two public bodies (the CBE and the City) where publicly-owned heritage property is concerned.

We ask City Council and CBE to consider these points of view, and include municipal designation as a part of this land use redesignation process.


Regards,


Janet Woolgar, President,
Calgary Heritage Initiative Society
info@calgaryheritage.org
www.calgaryheritage.org
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Postby newsposter » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:36 am

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 687fea9ea7

Construction OK'd near Safran Centre
Design must match site's significance

Kim Guttormson
Calgary Herald

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A new education building and conference centre to be built alongside the historic Dr. Carl Safran Centre was approved by city council Monday, as the mayor cautioned that its design needs to match the site's significance.

"We tried to send a very strong message today that we're looking for a signature building that's in keeping with the heritage aspect of Dr. Carl Safran," Mayor Dave Bronconnier said, adding only one other high school in the province is as old. "In an ideal world, you'd like to see this historic building rest there on its own, but budgets are such as they are.

"But we don't want to see some boxy building put up next to such a significant, historical sandstone structure."

The Calgary Board of Education plans to move its headquarters into the former Beltline school and, working with a developer, lease back space from a new conference centre built on the eastern third of the lot.

Pat Cochrane, chairwoman of the CBE, said Monday's decision allows them to proceed with the next step -- design of the new building and restoration of the school, built in 1908 between 12th and 13th avenues and 8th and 9th streets S.W.

They hope to begin construction next spring, with everything finished for the fall of 2009.

What will happen to the CBE's existing building on 6th Avenue S.E. will be decided in the next few years, Cochrane said, adding they couldn't determine what should be done with the old building until they were sure they had a new one to move into.

The CBE will discuss that site's future with the city because it represents a scarce piece of green space in the downtown. The city purchased the west third of the Dr. Carl Safran Centre lot to make sure it remained an open space and wasn't developed.

The Beltline Planning Group and the Calgary Heritage Initiative both expressed concerns about the development at Monday's public hearing, arguing that the proposed location of the new building affected sightlines of the old school.

As well, Janet Woolgar, with the Calgary Heritage Initiative, said they wanted the CBE to apply for heritage designation for the building.
(see above posting for CHI's letter on the land use ^)

Cochrane said they aren't opposed to doing that in the future, but needed to proceed with the development first.

"Our intent is to restore the lovely old sandstone," she said.

Ald. Madeleine King said she was confident the CBE and its architects would work closely with the community.

kguttormson@theherald.canwest.com
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Postby newsposter » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:59 pm

On June 11 2007 City Council passed a land use amendment to allow the conversion of the historic Calgary Collegiate Institute / Central High / Carl Safran school site into the new Calgary Board of Education headquarters. The approval included several conditions to protect the historic school, in bold below, including application of heritage "Standards and Guidelines". Although the building was not designated, this is a very positive development. (Unfortunately, the approval does not protect the 1940s deco-derived gym - see previous page of this thread for a photo.)

Janet Woolgar, President of CHI, was among the members of the public who addressed Council at this Public Hearing. See above posts for a news story and CHI's comments.

That Bylaw 52Z2007, Being a Bylaw of The City of Calgary to Amend The City Of Calgary Land Use Bylaw 2P80. (Land Use Amendment LOC2006-0055) (Beltline) be read a third time, as amended, as follows:

2. Development Guidelines

(d) Building Design

(i) All uses located within new development must be located at or above grade, must include entrances at grade directly fronting the public street, and be street oriented;

(ii) Development on the site shall respect the site lines of the eastern façade of the sandstone building existing as of the date of passage of this Bylaw. This site triangle shall be measured from the property adjacent to the southwest corner of the intersection of 8 Street and 13 Avenue SW to the northeast corner of the sandstone building, then south in a line parallel to the eastern property line to 13 Avenue SW. No above grade building or structure shall be permitted within this site triangle.
(iii) A maximum of one primary office entrance/lobby at grade for new development on site shall be allowed with a maximum width of 7.5 metres;

(iv) The exterior finish of buildings shall be sufficiently durable so as not to require reapplication or extensive maintenance during the life of the building;

(v) All mechanical equipment and associated structures, including those on any roof structure, shall be architecturally integrated into the building design;

(vi) Any below grade structure within 6 metres of the 13 Avenue SW property line shall be constructed a minimum of 1.5 metres below the final grade of the site to facilitate tree planting;

(vii) Architectural detailing that provides for flexibility of window/door openings, allowing active uses to animate any abutting open space where the public has access shall be provided to the satisfaction of the Approving Authority;

(viii) Any new development on the site shall adhere to the “Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada” (as published by Parks Canada) which specifically references the need for new development to be “compatible, discernible and subordinate” to the existing heritage building; and

(ix) Any rehabilitation work on the sandstone school building shall adhere to the “Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada” (as published by Parks Canada).
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Postby newsposter » Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:15 pm

August 11 2007 Herald article on the new CBE headquarters at the historic Central High School (aka Carl Safran). Full story at link free as of posting.

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 37c2f285be

...Groups such as the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society and Beltline Communities expressed concern with previous designs because they worried the almost century-old building would be blocked by new construction.

...It is important historic buildings maintain active uses to prevent demolition, but renovations must be made carefully, said Calgary Heritage Initiative Society's Bob van Wegen.

The plans state that "the intent is to complete the conservation work in general accordance with the standards and guidelines for conservation of historic structures."

The new buildings must also be respectful of this important piece of Calgary architecture without trying to outshine it, van Wegen said.

While he hasn't seen the latest plans, van Wegen and others are looking forward to examining them.


An open house is planned for Aug. 29 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Connaught Community School Gymnasium, 1121 12th Ave. S.W., to offer a first look at what may soon be built in the Beltline.
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Postby newsposter » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:17 am

Update on the Carl Safran project from the CBE website.
Note the open house to view the plans

August 29, 5:00 - 7:30
Connaught School Gymnasium (note: two blocks west of Safran)
12th Avenue and 10th Street SW

http://www.cbe.ab.ca/New/ed_centre_bul2.asp
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Postby newsposter » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:18 pm

Herald story August 30 2007:

The Calgary Board of Education wants to build an education complex to house administration and trustee offices that will incorporate the 100-year-old sandstone building into the design.

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 9e349eee55

Not a great angle to show the relationship to the school, but this is the best we have available right now. Looking west from 8th Street and 13th Avenue SW past the new building to old Central High in the background.

Image
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Postby newsposter » Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:41 am

Mid-September 2007. Update on CBE website about Carl Safran plans, including images of the project. Proposed to go to Calgary Planning Commission on November 15.

http://www.cbe.ab.ca/New/ed_centre_bul3.asp
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Postby newsposter » Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:56 pm

The new CBE headquarters building at Carl Safran / old Central High School goes to Calgary Planning Commission on November 1. The sandstone school is to be preserved, but regrettably no portion of the 1940 art deco-inspired gymnasium (photo below), which is also on the heritage inventory, will be preserved in the proposal. Below is an excerpt from the CPC report on that subject - the link at the bottom goes to the complete report:

There was considerable discussion about retaining, re-using or replicating some portion of the 1940 gymnasium addition as a reference to its history on the site prior to demolition. When the DP drawings were submitted, a reference was made to the possibility of moving or replicating the original main gymnasium entrance piece on the northeast corner of the building. To be retained, it would have to be moved or replicated. Since it is poured-in-place concrete, moving the structure is not feasible. To replicate the entrance piece was not considered appropriate by the heritage planner. In lieu of this, administration and the applicant have agreed upon a permanent commemorative historic photo record at the entrance to the multi-purpose space. A prior to release condition has been added to provide further details.

http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/dba ... 7_2722.pdf

Leigh Dehaney photo
Image
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Postby newsposter » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:06 pm

The Carl Safran project barely passed Calgary Planning Commission (5-4). There were several failed amendments, including an amendment to preserve the deco gym entryway (see above), which lost 4-5. Thanks to those CPC members who tried to improve this project: Jeremy Sturgess, Druh Farrell, Shawn Ripley and Ben Barrington.

PLANNING COMMISSION DECISION: 2007 November 01

AMENDMENT: REFER the application back to the Administration with
the intent of incorporating the historic auditorium entry
into the entry sequence.
Moved by: J. Sturgess Lost: 4-5
Opposed: D. Watson, R. Zazelenchuk, G. Lowe,
B. Lester, J. Hubbell

AMENDMENT: REFER the application back to the Administration with
the intent to improve the pedestrian realm on 12 Avenue.
Moved by: J. Sturgess Lost: 4-5
Opposed: D. Watson, R. Zazelenchuk, G. Lowe,
B. Lester, J. Hubbell

AMENDMENT: REFER the application back to the Administration with
the intent of developing the architectural expression of
the tower to be more expressive of the unique civic and
iconic nature of the site and the user groups.
Moved by: J. Sturgess Lost: 3-6
Opposed: D. Watson, R. Zazelenchuk, G. Lowe,
S. Ripley, B. Lester, J. Hubbell

The Calgary Planning Commission APPROVED the
proposed new office building with retail and restaurant
uses at grade at 905 – 12 Avenue SW and 930 – 13
Avenue SW, in accordance with the Corporate Planning
Applications Group recommendation.
Moved by: G. Lowe Carried: 5-4
Opposed: D. Farrell, S. Ripley, B. Barrington*,
J. Sturgess

*REASON FOR OPPOSING: B. Barrington
1. 12 Avenue public realm not designed to
enhance pedestrian interaction;
2. Plaza is busy and too full and the raised planters
inhibit movement;
3. (Massing) of office does not enhance the
sandstone school presence, is too heavy feeling,
it is too busy and competes with the heritage
building with its complexity and treatment; and
4. Transition to the heritage garden on the south
side, 13 Avenue, from the new plaza is abrupt.

Full minutes: http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/dba ... mber01.pdf


Update Dec 2 2007

Here is the latest update from the CBE. Building permits may be issued as early as Jan 2008
http://www.cbe.ab.ca/New/ed_centre_Nov20_07.asp
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Postby newsposter » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:15 pm

May 29 2008 - connaught groundbreaking

CBE is moving ahead with plans to fix up the Connaught sandstone school. An unwelcome part of the plan is to build a new gym on the south side of the school, totally obsuring the south facade from 13th Avenue (a proposed "heritage greenway"). CHI has recommended that the new gym be build in the vicinity of the old gym, which does not hide the building. In anycase, below is the news release.

Link to CHI's comment on this (from 2006) and more information about the history of this proposal:
http://calgaryheritage.org/CHIForum/viewto ... ?p=553#553

For Immediate Release
May 29, 2008
Media Availability and Photo Op

GROUNDBREAKING MARKS THE RESTORATION OF HISTORIC CONNAUGHT SCHOOL

CALGARY - Parents, students and trustees will be turning the sod to mark the beginning of the major work revitalizing an historic inner-city landmark Connaught School.

The major focus of the work includes the demolition of the existing gymnasium on the east side of the school to allow for the development of a new gymnasium on the south side of the building. A new atrium will connect the new gymnasium with the existing school. The basement will be converted into classrooms, and existing office and classroom spaces on the other floors will be renovated to accommodate a new elevator. Much of the original woodwork and other features will be retained or restored to maintain the building’s character and heritage. The sandstone cladding on the exterior will remain, although doors and windows will be replaced. There will be numerous electrical and mechanical upgrades performed as well.

A guiding principle of the Connaught School modernization project is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) which among other considerations, will see the project use certified wood and regional materials, reduce light pollution and indoor water use.

Connaught School is a Kindergarten to Grade 6 school thriving in the heart of the inner city. The Calgary Board of Education is proud to support Connaught School as a Centre of Excellence for English as a Second Language. The school revels in its diversity where students speak more than 35 languages. Connaught School will also be the new home of the CBE’s Assessment Centre, which welcomes, accommodates and places foreign students. Since the beginning of the 2007 / 2008 school year, all of Connaught School’s 170 students have been accommodated at Kingsland School to allow for the first phase of the modernization to begin.

Media are welcome and encouraged to attend the sod turning for Connaught School Friday May 30th from 1:45 pm to 2:30 pm. Connaught School is located at 1121-12 Ave S.W. Please note: the site is an active construction site, so remember to wear appropriate footwear.


Carl Safran groundbreaking ceremony June 5 2008...

Note: CHI is happy with the preservation of the sandstone school but wanted the 1940s deco-style gym preserved as well... Here is a summary of our concerns regarding the two schools: http://www.calgaryheritage.org/CHIForum/vi ... ?p=742#742

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2008
Media Availability and Photo

OFFICIAL GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY CELEBRATES MAJOR STEP IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CBE’S NEW EDUCATION CENTRE

CALGARY – The Calgary Board of Education and its partners will mark the start of construction on its new Education Centre during a groundbreaking ceremony to happen this Friday.

This new centre will be a proud addition to the city and will be a hub of excellence in education in which all Calgarians can take pride. This ceremony will celebrate the P3 initiative that has brought this project to life without taking funds from our classrooms. This innovative project will preserve the original sandstone building, add a new 21st century administrative centre for the Calgary Board of Education and maintain green space in the community.

Media are invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony Friday June 6, 2008 between 10:30 am and 11:30 am at the former site of the Carl Safran Centre, 930 13th Avenue S.W.

- 30 -
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