John Fisher Junior Public can stay open, if certain conditions met: report

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John Fisher Junior Public can stay open, if certain conditions met: report

An independent report says it's safe for John Fisher Junior Public to remain open while a 35-storey residential tower goes up next door, so long as certain conditions are met.

The risk assessment was conducted by Environmental Consulting Occupational Health (ECOH) and examined how everything from falling objects to noise and dust will affect safety and learning at the north Toronto school. 

"The TDSB hired the group to do the analysis," said Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board. "Essentially, it says the risks can and should be mitigated to a level where students can stay in the school during construction."

According to the report, noise and dust are potentially the two most substantial hazards posed by the work. Consultants  have therefore recommended installing double-paned windows and air conditioners. 

The report doesn't site falling objects as posing a high risk for students.

Parents have protested construction of the apartment building and earlier this month the North York Community Council voted to delay the project for 30 days.

Although most families acknowledge that a risk assessment is a step in the right direction, they fear that the logistics haven't been planned out.

Stavros Rougas' son is in grade two. He's concerned about construction trucks and vehicles manoeuvring on the small street. 

"I'm not sure how they plan on getting kids and buses in here," said Rougas. "It's already so congested. We have so many unanswered questions about how this is all going to work."

The TDSB plans to hire a construction consultant to peer review the ECOH report and provide feedback, including on how the board and/or the developer will need to address the report's recommendations.

Both documents will then be presented at a public meeting May 3 at North Toronto Collegiate.

From there, the TDSB will determine whether or not the school will remain open during construction. If it closes, students will be temporarily moved to Vaughan Road Academy.