Pupatello calls for rebirth of west Windsor neighbourhood

BlackburnNews.com file photo of Forster Secondary School after it closed in 2014. (Photo by Jason Viau)

A candidate in Windsor West has said she is committed to revitalizing a neighbourhood surrounding a former secondary school.

Liberal candidate Sandra Pupatello had a campaign appearance Tuesday outside the former J.L. Forster Secondary School, during which she pledged to make the building the focal point of a revitalized area should she be elected on September 20.

“Forster High School is considered the center of the west end,” said Pupatello in her remarks, shown on her campaign Facebook page. “At one time, a grade school, a high school, a school with community agencies attached. In this building is a pro-sized gym, a pool, but lately, home to vandals. I hope that after this election, this can be the site of a rejuvenation.”

J.L. Forster closed following the 2013-2014 school year after being an anchor in the west end for 92 years. The school is just a short walk away from the Olde Sandwich Towne area, as well as the University of Windsor’s athletic campus.

Pupatello did not provide specifics in the text of her remarks, but said a priority if she is elected would be to connect with west end community leaders on the future of the building.

“We know we need affordable housing,” said Pupatello. “We know a Liberal government is funding affordable housing projects. Are these houses salvageable? If they come down, what can they be? The houses that are falling apart in this area are an appalling example of total neglect, somebody has to bring the sides together and figure this out. A stalemate just isn’t acceptable.”

Pupatello is running for the Windsor West seat against the NDP incumbent Brian Masse, Conservative Anthony Orlando, Matthew Giancola of the People’s Party of Canada, and Margaret Villamizer of the Marxist-Leninists.