Nine Toronto Catholic schools need 'critical' repairs
Naomi Parness and Kendra Mangione, CTV Toronto
Published Friday, January 22, 2016 5:55PM EST
Nine of Toronto's Catholic schools are in need of "critical" repairs, and another 82 are in "poor" condition, CTV News has learned.
Documents obtained by CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness show that nine of the Toronto Catholic District School Board's 200 schools are ranked by the province in "critical" condition. Another 41 per cent are ranked as "poor." The ratings mean the buildings need extensive renovations or replacements of core systems.
Ontario schools are ranked by the province using a system referred to as the Facility Condition Index (FCI).
The rankings are calculated as a percentage, which is the total value of replacement costs compared to the total value of replacing the entire building. For example, if a school needs $10 million in repairs, and its value is $20 million, its FCI is 50 per cent.
Schools with an FCI of less than 10 are considered "good," while those at 65 or higher are "critical."
CTV Toronto obtained the rankings, which showed that nine schools are at 65 or above. Another 82 schools fall between 30 and 65, receiving a ranking of "poor."
According to the rankings, the worst school in the TCDSB is St. Michael's Choir School, a semi-private boys' school in Toronto's Garden District. Its ranking is at 220.
"With aging facilities, you have to monitor them constantly, regularly and frequently," Superintendent of Facility Services Maia Puccetti told CTV during a tour of the school.
She said the school has an antiquated heating system and its windows need to be replaced.
"The actual building structure in terms of bricks and mortar needs to be redone," Puccetti said.
The board is advocating to completely replace the school, saying that the cost to repair it is now more than the cost to rebuild.
TCDSB schools with highest rankings
The following schools have the highest FCI rankings in the board:
- St. Michael's Choir School
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School
- Monsignor Fraser College
- St. Catherine Catholic School
- St. Sebastian Catholic School
- St. Bartholomew Catholic School
- St. Teresa Catholic School
- Blessed Cardinal Newman Catholic High School
- St. Raymond Catholic School
- St. Monica Catholic School
See below for a map of the top 10 and the full list of all 200 schools' FCI rankings.
Catholic vs. public schools
Though five per cent of schools are in need of costly repairs, the Catholic board's numbers are significantly lower than those in the Toronto public board.
CTV Toronto reported earlier this week that nearly one quarter of the schools in the Toronto District School Board have been ranked as in critical condition.
Fix Our Schools, a grassroots Ontario organization that advocates for safe schools, said the provincial government is to blame.
The group pointed to a recent auditor general's report that said Ontario school boards need $1.4 billion per year to maintain a good state of repair.
The Ministry of Education told CTV that it has already poured billions of dollars into schools.
"It is the board's responsibility to keep the buildings in good repair," Minister Liz Sandals told reporters at a news conference in Guelph.
"Their problem is they need to manage the money that they are receiving."
Sandals said the Toronto boards have greater opportunities than many other school boards in the province because they can make more money by selling schools where enrollment has dropped than in other cities, where real estate is cheaper.
Sandals said Toronto's public board has had its funding quadrupled in the last year.
She said the government has spent $13.4 billion in the last decade on new schools, retrofitted schools, additions and renewal projects. The government plans to spend another $11 billion over the next 10 years on the same expenses.
"If you add that up together, we're looking at almost $25 billion going to school board capital."
The following is a list of the rankings provided by the TCDSB.
A stairwell at St. Michael's Choir School is seen in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.
St. Michael's Choir School is seen in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.