Which schools will stay open and which will be closed is on tonight’s school board agenda.
One-man school board Howard Windsor is expected to decide tonight whether to approve a proposed master capital plan that prioritizes new school construction and renovations in peninsular Halifax and Dartmouth, and would see up to 17 schools closed over the next decade.
Windsor has already heard recommendations from an independent consultant and Halifax regional school board staff, as well as feedback from the community.
Toronto-based CS&P Architects, hired by the Halifax regional school board, recently outlined recommendations in the Imagine Our Schools report for the future of school facilities.
One of the major recommendations, which board staff agreed with, is building a high school in Eastern Passage and consolidate students from Auburn Drive High and Cole Harbour District High into one site.
Board staff disagreed with consultants on several other recommendations. For example, in inner city Halifax, the consultants proposed closing Joseph Howe Elementary and St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay, sending the students to a renovated St. Patrick’s Alexandra.
Board staff said it would be better to rebuild a new Joseph Howe Elementary and close Joseph’s-Alexander McKay and St. Patrick’s Alexandra.
The two parties also had different opinions on ideas for Saint Mary’s Elementary in south-end Halifax, with the consultants saying it should be held for future development, while board staff saying it be reviewed for closure.
In Dartmouth, board staff said a new Prince Arthur Junior High and Southdale-North Woodside should be built whereas the consultants thought they should be renovated.
The consultants suggested Bicentennial become an alternative program site whereas board staff said it should be kept and renovated.
The consultants proposed switching John Martin Junior High and Harbour View Elementary, but board staff said John Martin should be an alternative program site and Harbour View Elementary be kept.
A summary of comments from public consultations is online at www.hrsb.ns.ca.