SD 70 takes heat for poor decision

Problems with the HVAC systems and landscaping at the new ADSS highlight the fact that the facility is second-rate.

To the Editor,

Re: Heating and landscaping issues plague new school, Oct. 17.

Problems with the HVAC systems and landscaping at the new ADSS highlight the fact that, in some respects, the facility is second-rate.

One recent graduate told me that the band program is going downhill, and that the new band room is far too small—unlike the band room at the old ADSS which had room for offices and storage space and could comfortably accommodate a large orchestra. Moreover, it was recently built and is in excellent shape.

I personally helped promote its construction and was successful.

However, my efforts to preserve it and the old auditorium failed. Dennett Bryson raised one million dollars from the community in the 1950s for the 1,000-seat facility, the largest north of Victoria.

In every sense it was a community facility and hosted well-known speakers such as Stephen Lewis and top-rated Canadian entertainers such as Andre Philippe Gagnon, Rita MacNeil, Moe Koffman, Michelle Wright, Loreena Mckennitt, Liona Boyd, and the Vancouver Symphony.

Those days are gone, perhaps in part because the stars demand more money, but also because the new 500-seat auditorium is far too small to be economical.  It can’t even accommodate the entire school population.

Even if the old auditorium required new heating, why this community would abandon a facility that would cost $15-18 million to build today is beyond me.

It’s now obvious that this community is in love with the second-rate whatever the social and economic costs.

Richard Berg,

Port Alberni