Halifax Regional School Board chairman Irvine Carvery gave his nod of approval yesterday to the province’s promise to replace four aging buildings and fix up two others.

But he’s concerned with how long it might take for the city’s students to see the benefits.

“The timeframe for this is quite far out there,” he said.


However, Carvery noted, “if there is a change in government, normally the new government lives up to those commitments, in terms of education — so there’s room for optimism.”

The earliest one of the new schools announced yesterday will open its doors is 2012. And a new school to replace both Southdale-North Woodside Elementary and Prince Arthur Junior High in Dartmouth is supposed to open in 2014.

“They match what we’ve identified in terms of our Imagine Our Schools process,” he said of the board’s facilities master plan. “(But) through our process, it was identified for Prince Arthur and Southdale-North Woodside that they would have two schools, not just one.”

The Tories also committed to replace Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, which was built to house 800 students. Enrolment is now at about 1,200.

“It’s really wonderful news,” said Elaine Loney, who’s on the school’s advisory council. “It will certainly relieve a serious overcrowding issue.”

New Democrat Leader Darrell Dexter and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil both indicated yesterday they’d back the school construction if an election is called, as long as the projects match what boards want for their jurisdictions.

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