Brick By Brick

Regina idiots want to knock down another beloved BOBB

editorial by Stephen Whitworth

Did you hear about Giant Icicle up in Saskatoon? Apparently a whole neighbourhood was terrorized by a towering pillar of malevolent frozen water leaning off a building. People were afraid to walk their dogs past it in case it was hungry (dogs are a favourite delicacy of giant icicles). No one knew what to do. It was a big conundrum.

In Regina, it’d be easy to deal with such an ice-menace. All you’d have to do is call it a “heritage icicle” and say you loved it. Do that, and it’ll be bulldozed before you can say “Connaught”.

But seriously. What the hell is wrong with this place?

To review the situation for those who haven’t been paying attention, Regina has a pretty nice and extremely loved 100-year-old school called Connaught in the Cathedral neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the building is in rough shape structurally. It needs major work.

The Regina school board’s response: “Nah, let’s just bulldoze it and build a new school. Who cares about hundred-year-old buildings?”

So anyway, the neighbourhood is furious and devastated. You can read the details elsewhere in this issue. Here’s the rant.

First, what is up with Regina hating on beautiful old brick buildings (BOBBs)? These are assets other jurisdictions bend over backwards to maintain and protect. People like BOBBs. They’re attractive. They respond well to renovation. They’re a great draw for film production companies… wait, oh yeah.

Anyway, I don’t understand it. It’s weird and stupid.

Second, and worse… I understand that the school board is in a bad position here. They don’t write the cheque — the province (which no doubt despises NDP-voting neighbourhoods) does. They’re kind of stuck. Still, what I saw at the Feb. 26 school board meeting was a group of politicians who, with the exception of trustees Beck and O’Reilly, did not give a flick of shit about the community’s preferences, concerns and ideas.

I was there. They didn’t want to hear the people who came out to defend Connaught. They wanted them to shut up and go home. It was a disgrace.

We’ll cover the saga of the Regina’s latest threatened BOBB over the coming months. But you know what? I’m getting a little tired of the same, stupid old story every time a building needs repairs.

I’d rather write gushing editorials about Stephen Harper. That guy’s my hero.