There has been no construction activity at the Islamic School for the past two years. The School evidently embarked on this major expansion in 2014 without having all the required funds in hand. Fundraising efforts have faltered over the past three years, slowly bringing construction to a standstill. We are told that the total cost of the project is about $3.5 million, and the school still needs to raise about $2 million to complete it. The result is the half-completed eyesore on Sutton Place.
One of the apparent stumbling blocks to the school’s fundraising was the dispute between the school and the City over development charges. However, as we reported in the April issue of this newsletter, that issue was resolved last spring by mediation. We understand that the City reduced the charges to about 40% of the original amount, and the school agreed to pay the City about $13,000 a year for 10 years to settle the bill.
The only work that has taken place around the construction site in the past 18 months is first, a general clean-up of the site, and second, planting of trees along the boulevard on Sutton. All of this is the result of pressure on the school and the City by FHACA, with the support of our City Councillor, Keith Egli. Now, with FHACA’s Annual General Meeting coming up, Councillor Egli has written to the School asking them to provide him (before Sept. 30) with a plan of what construction progress they will make over the coming 12 months. Meanwhile, both FHACA and city staff have urged the School to put top priority on completing the exterior facade.
Plan to attend the AGM on Monday Sept. 30, to hear what progress is being made on this issue.