Thursday, August 10, 2017

TCS President Ahmet Topal and Treasurer Sinem Senol look for alternate solutions for the Mosque Project

After disappointing news from the City Developers regarding our initial development plans, TCS President Ahmet Topal and Treasurer Sinem Senol spent Spring 2017 reaching out the EPSB, the Catholic School Board, and the Francophone School Board to discuss the possibility of purchasing additional land towards the West of our existing property. With future plans to close the Brightview Elementary School behind our property this initially looked promising. However, further meetings with the City parks planning manager, revealed to us that CoE would like to maintain the integrity of the large green space on the west side of our property.

In April 2017 some new members joined the TCS Board to bring some fresh momentum to our project. Our President Ahmet Topal, Treasurer Sinem Senol, and Board Member Mustafa Kamil Demir were elected for another two year term. They were also joined by new Board members Suat Demirer, Onur Mutlu, and Yasemin Akgul Uluc. Newly elected Board Members re-affirm the TCS's Board's commitment to the project.

During the summer we reached out to real estate agents to discuss whether it might be possible to sell the existing property and purchase land elsewhere. President Ahmet Topal and Treasurer Sinem Senol met with bank officials to discuss the possibility of obtaining a loan to purchase new property and presented all their findings to the Board for discussion, before presenting the ideas to the general membership. The realtors we spoke with strongly discouraged us from selling our existing property, citing future development plans of the City of Edmonton on the West side. In the end, the Board decided it was best to give up the quest for searching an alternate location.

Summer 2017 unfortunately brought some controversy to the TCS Board as well. Disappointed by the bleak prospect for building the Mosque in our existing location, construction committee started with a plan to build a storage/kitchen/funeral space adjacent to the Gym. Mr. Suat Demirer, our newly elected Board Member raised concerns about this construction plan, and it was put on hold. For now our Phase II plans are on hold until Edmonton Public School Board goes forward with its school consolidation plans and shuts down the Brightview School. Our Project Consultant and Board Member Suat Demirer will continue to look for solutions for the Phase I - TCS Mosque project.