Three metro schools will be immediately reviewed for closure, according to a new $235-million capital plan decided by the one-man school board last night.
Going against Halifax regional school board staff’s recommendation to delay reviewing all schools for closure until 2009, Howard Windsor decided last night that St. Mary’s Elementary, St. Patrick’s-Alexandra and Alderney Elementary are on the chopping block. That means those schools could close by 2009 under new provincial school review rules.
Windsor told the 100 people in attendance last night that he didn’t make the decision lightly.
“I have given this issue a great deal of thought and consideration. Dollars spent on under-utilized space are dollars that cannot go into the classroom,” he said.
Despite the fact that a consultant and board staff both supported building a high school in Eastern Passage, Windsor deferred a decision until the issue is further studied.
The first priority on the capital list includes renovating Prince Andrew High School, followed by making major alterations to Dartmouth High. Building a replacement school for Joseph Howe Elementary is third on the list.
Windsor also announced new schools to replace Southdale-North Woodside Elementary and Highland Park Junior High, making it the main junior high for north-end Halifax.
He deferred a decision about whether to close Cornwallis Junior High until the board studies the possibility of building a new junior high in a more central area.
The board also confirmed construction funding needs for Waverley Memorial — L.C. Skerry Elementary and Atlantic Memorial-Terence Bay Elementary, and promised to make a provincial funding request for a new Bedford high school.
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