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article imageUniversity of Toronto evicts school for academically gifted

By Andrew Moran     Apr 28, 2011 in World
Toronto - The University of Toronto has given a high school for academically gifted students and future teachers a notice of eviction. The University of Toronto Schools will have until 2021 to find a new location and move.
According to a new Globe and Mail report, the University of Toronto Schools, which has been in partnership with the University of Toronto since the early 20th century, is being evicted in 2021 and will have to relocate.
The high school, which works with the academically gifted and future professors and has been credited for molding Rhodes scholars and mathletes, is located at Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue.
UofT declined the independent high school’s proposal for $48 million in renovations. The university instead stated that they need the downtown location for itself. However, UofT Vice President of business affairs, Cathy Rigall, said there are no concrete plans of what the university will do with the spot, but there are redevelopment ideas being floated around.
“Beyond a vague idea that this will be important in the future. No timeline, because there is no money,” said Rigall.
UTS board members are not surprised by the decision, but are quite disappointed. There will now be deliberations as to what their next plans are. Committee Chairman David Rounthwaite said they received a letter from UofT in which they wrote that the renovation proposal “was not in the long-term best interest of the university."
“It’s a watershed, I think, for the school,” said Class of 1971 alumnus Don Schmitt, who is now a principal at the architecture firm Diamond + Schmitt. “At first blush, yes, it’s a loss.”
Trinity-Spadina City Councillor Adam Vaughan stated that he wants to keep the school in the downtown area, but there are many barriers to be crossed, including real estate premiums and the search for funding for a new building.
One suggestion is to fundraise and/or work with condo developers. North Toronto Collegiate partnered with condo developers and now they have the state of the art school facility and a massive soccer field near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue.
In the meantime, the school is calling former students to help raise funds for 2021.
It doesn’t matter [where the school is located],” said Jim Slotta, professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education . “It’s about knowledge, it’s about technology, it’s about pedagogy, it’s about learning from each other.”
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