TRURO - A decision about the fate of two local elementary schools that have been under review is expected to be made tonight in Truro.
Chignecto-Central Regional School Board officials met last night to discuss some final thoughts about Bass River elementary and Maitland district elementary schools before making a decision about potential closure. It's anticipated the fate of the schools will be made tonight during a public meeting that will be held at Cobequid Educational Centre, beginning at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria. Decisions are also expected about Wentworth elementary, River John consolidated and East Pictou Middle School.
Last night, discussions around Bass River elementary included the bright environment at the current site. According to board member Vivian Farrell, that is a valuable point.
"The elementary school is considering a move to a dark, dreary (West Colchester Consolidated School) ... it seems a little bit unfair to me," said Farrell.
She also stated West Colchester Consolidated is "under capacity" and that "it seems we're cramming (elementary students) in there" because it's "not bursting at the seams" with attendance.
Moving the office from the elementary school to the consolidated school was also an issue as was the fact the elementary school does not currently have storage space, said board member Jim Grue.
Regarding Maitland elementary, discussion mostly surrounded the community's idea of keeping the school open and making the facility into a hub centre. The concept is, in part, having the facility for multiple uses, including a school.
"Let's give them a chance ... I think they are willing to work hard for it," said board chairwoman Trudy Thompson, adding the school "doesn't have any major maintenance at this time."
Board member Wendy Matheson-Withrow said she's worried about liability issues if the school was used as a hub centre.
Board member Susan MacQuarrie added she believes bus times could exceed an hour if Maitland elementary students had to be bused to other schools.
The school board is facing at least an $1.8-million shortfall in its 2013-2014 budget. Members said many times last night that the fate of the schools will greatly affect the budget.