Steve Stoddart (right), the school board’s director of operations, explains the site selection committee process. Seated next to him is Gerry Purdy, the board’s director of Human Resources. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
By Tina Comeau
While a site selection committee will come up with three possibilities for the location of a new elementary school, it will ultimately be the province’s decision as to where the new school will be located.
At its April 1 monthly meeting, senior staff with the Tri-County Regional School Board said it is time to get the committee up and running so the process of finding a site for the school can begin. The school board has motions on its books to close Central, South Centennial and Arcadia schools.
“The difference from prior to now is that one of the existing sites of the schools that are going to close has to be submitted as one of the sites, if it meets the criteria,” Steve Stoddart, the school board’s director of operations, said about the process of identifying three potential locations for a new school.
The school board has repeatedly pointed to the former Yarmouth Junior High School on Parade Street as a potential site, as the gymnasium there could be incorporated into construction.
The site selection process, once it is underway, is expected to take months.
Construction, however, is still a ways off.
The Department of Education says the cash flow for the project will only begin in the 2015-16 fiscal year. From there cash will continue to flow into the project in the years 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Representation on the site selection committee will include school board staff, community members, school administration and school staff and municipal unit representation. If needed during the site selection process, the committee will receive assistance from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
After a shortlist of three potential sites has been identified, the school board will create a report that will be submitted to the minister of education. Once that report is submitted, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will assess the sites.
“They will determine which is the best site, and recommend that site to the minister,” explains Stoddart.
The Tri-County board had submitted a request to the province for a newly constructed or a newly retrofitted elementary school. The capital funding approval announcement made by department was for a new elementary school. The department says $9,950,000 has been approved for the school.