In the summer of 2008, a fire destroyed Peel Adventist School, the Brampton campus of the Toronto Adventist District School Board (TADSB). Since then, several issues have thwarted plans to rebuild, including insufficient funds and difficulty finding a safe, affordable and convenient location.
Ten years later and the Peel school still hasn’t found a permanent home, instead renting a Brampton school built by a Methodist church for its members. Unfortunately, the rented facility can’t accommodate all the students who’d like to attend Peel Adventist School. Stop gap solutions, including holding classes in the gym and buying more portables, have proven inadequate for coping with growing enrollment.
The search committee for a new building, composed of the TADSB’s Norman Brown and Rose Wilson, Conference directors Kevin Benta and Donald McIntyre, and realtor Ben Corbier, is pressed to find a new building by September 2018 or the school will take a serious hit. Says McIntyre, “If we don’t find an alternative to what’s happening there now, we’re gonna lose students and we’re gonna lose teachers.” At least 39 students on the waiting list for fall will be turned away if a new building isn’t found.
Lack of a permanent space is the main hindrance to an otherwise thriving school. “Peel has great potential. If Peel could get the right facility, it would be very easy to have the support to make Peel into a K-12 school. The people out there in that area love the school and support it. We’re held back just because of space,” explains McIntyre.
Search committee members hope to resolve this issue soon, better equipping the Peel school to provide a holistic education preparing students for this life and for eternity. “For an Adventist child, for any child, the best place for them to be is in one of our schools. So it’s incumbent upon us to be able to provide the facilities to do that,” states Benta.
McIntyre adds, “We need to be a lighthouse in all the regions in the area. We need to train our young people to become model citizens in this geographic area of the Greater Toronto region to build a vibrant and successful Christian community with a strong academic program that has a strong spiritual foundation.”
Thus, the search committee is asking pastors and members to seriously pray that God will provide a permanent school home for the TADSB’s Peel location this summer. Says Benta, “We want the members to really make it an earnest point of prayer. This urgent need requires a solution that only God can bring about.”