Last week’s arrival of this flyer on the doorstep was the first clue many Notre Dame neighbours had about BIG changes proposed for our community.
NOTE: The day after the flyer was circulated, Notre Dame School removed the web page mentioned on the cover of the flyer, above (ndrsbuilding.com/the-final-phase).
Here is the information that was removed:
Highlights from the Deleted Page:
In point 3, there is reference to the original plans being followed (the original plan was for a stadium and was strongly opposed by local residents in 2005).
Notre Dame agreed, under community pressure, to the remove the lights from the project. That still stands. But, apart from that, we are “back to the original plan”.
It states that: “Notre Dame will have a football/sports stadium with an all-weather athletic field (not simply a sports field).”
Point 6 indicates that they hope to attract up to 2,000 spectators.
Flyer, second page:
We Are NOT Against a Sports Field
To reinforce the point made in the brochure, we are NOT against the students of Notre Dame School having a sports field of their own. On the contrary, we can’t really understand why it has take so long for them to get one.
What we ARE against, is the possibility of a destination sports STADIUM being brought into our small neighbourhood without our consent or consultation. Supporters of the project say that it not a stadium, merely a field with a few bleachers. However, the fact that the project is actually officially called the McArthur Stadium, and the statements made on the now-removed Notre Dame online statement, make us skeptical that that a field with a few bleachers is the limit of the plans for the site.
Why Will No-One Talk To Us?
We are made very uneasy by the lack of communication from the school. Attempts to speak with Notre Dame representatives by email, or in person, have been unsuccessful. Information from the school web site has been deleted as soon as our flyer pointed it out.
Letters from many neighbours to the Vancouver City Project Coordinator who is dealing with this permit, Claudia Hicks, have met only with the repeated message that the upgrade of the grass field project (approved in 2008) to an artificial turf field with stadium seating, (meant to host 2,000 visitors, as evidenced from the now removed Notre Dame web site) is a MINOR amendment.
Given that this part of the school restructuring will have BY FAR the biggest impact on the immediate community, and given that people who live only feet from the project have received NO NOTIFICATION from the school or the City about the changes about to come, we are still strongly campaigning for a public consultation process before final approval is given to this project.
Why is this such a hurried and non-transparent process? The application to amend the permit from grass field to artificial turf stadium was made in February 2018, yet no community announcement was made by the City or the school.
Looking for Communication and Compromise
As with all things in life, compromise is the best way to proceed.
As this situation currently stands, however, the City of Vancouver and Notre Dame School are not open to any compromise, or even communication.
We are looking for a way forward — a way in which the students of Notre Dame can have their sports field and we, the school’s neighbours, can retain our sanity.
Ideas for next steps include:
- a petition
- a media campaign
- lawn signs
- more letter writing – to MPs, MLAs, the mayor, councillors …
If anyone has suggestions and/or would like to volunteer for any of these, or other projects, or just to keep up to date on developments — please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org