Trustees on the finance committee voted Wednesday night to recommend the board authorize director of education Donna Quan to complete a licence agreement with Razor Management, the company that would build and manage the school’s championship field and dome at Bathurst and Harbord Sts.
Three trustees, including board chair Mari Rutka, voted in favour of the recommendation despite an open letter from the 11 incoming trustees asking for a deferral. The letter was spearheaded by trustee-elect Ausma Malik, who campaigned against the project in Ward 10, Trinity-Spadina.
The letter, sent to the board Monday, said the high turnover during the October municipal election — half of the trustees will be new — was a signal that voters were looking for change and that a decision should be delayed until after Dec. 1, when the new board is in place. “This election took place at a time where the TDSB was struggling for greater public credibility,” it read.
Briony Glassco, who was appointed as a trustee after Chris Bolton resigned, countered that the outgoing board has just as much right to move forward on the deal. “We addressed whether we should defer” and give new trustees the option, said Glassco, “but all the trustees sitting in front of me were still elected, and they were rightfully elected.
“We know this down to our toes, and the new trustees have got the biggest learning curve you can imagine.”
The $ 6-million project includes a running track, FIFA-grade artificial turf and the dome, which would cover the massive field for four to five months a year. Students would use the field during school hours and Razor would rent it out on the evenings and weekends.
In March, former city councillor Adam Vaughan opposed the dome at a Toronto committee of adjustment meeting, which denied the minor variance necessary for any school board property to be used for purposes other than instructional.
The field has been closed since soil testing that was required under the Razor deal revealed contamination.
There are still roadblocks to overcome. The committee’s decision needs to be approved by the outgoing board at its last meeting Nov. 26; also, Razor Management has already appealed the city’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.