The school board’s proposed 10-year facilities plan for peninsular Halifax and Dartmouth would cost taxpayers $225 million, one-man school board Howard Windsor heard last night.
Forty million of that is for immediate maintenance issues like windows and roofs.
The plan, outlined in the Halifax regional school board’s Imagine Our Schools report, recommends building three new schools (two are replacements); closing or consolidating five schools in Halifax and 12 in Dartmouth; and renovating most facilities to include lunch rooms and classrooms tailored for science, Grade Primary, music and special needs.
The school board will ask the province to pay for the whole plan. Windsor heard at last night’s board meeting that the earliest the cash could start flowing is 2010-11.
Final decisions about proposed school closures would be deferred until March 2009, when an elected school board will be back in power. The timing is in keeping with the province’s new school closure review process, which requires a year for the public to share feedback after a school is identified for closure.
Windsor described the difficulty of creating a master capital plan to request funding when decisions about school closure will be up in the air for another year.
“We seem to suffer from a catch 22,” Windsor said. “… We can’t really develop a plan of detail until we know what we’re talking about.”