Tatamagouche approved for new P-12 school

Harry Sullivan
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One facility to replace existing elementary and high schools

TRURO - Tatamagouche has been approved for a new Primary to Grade 12 school to replace two aging, existing structures.

The school, estimated to cost $22 million, is part of an overall plan that will see the province spend $94.6 million to construct 10 new schools and make renovations and improvements to 18 others. The funding also includes the purchase of 70 new buses.

"Under this plan, we are building and improving schools across the province and establishing four new skilled-trades centres to open that career path for students in those communities," Karen Casey, education and early childhood development minister, said in a news release Monday. "This is a significant commitment to the education of our young people."

Kelly Tucker, who has children enrolled in both existing schools and who sits on the school advisory committee, described the decision to amalgamate the two facilities as "an absolutely wonderful position."

"It will be a big positive thing to have all our kids in one school," she said, adding students from both institutions are currently bussed together and when they are under one roof the older students will be able to help the younger ones.

In an interview with the Truro Daily News, Casey said the decision to replace the existing elementary and high schools with one facility came at the recommendation of the community after the costs to upgrade the older structures was taken in to consideration.

North Colchester High was constructed during the 1950s, she said, while the elementary school, although somewhat newer, was designed with a combined gymnasium and cafeteria.

"It was one of those schools that was built with a kind of multi-purpose room. It did not have a full-size gym," Casey said.

And renovating the aging high school to modern standards was also determined by the community to be unfeasible.

"If you look at just the infrastructure we have in the high school, it is not designed for modern technology, it's not designed for the new approaches to provide that communication between and amongst students and between and among boards and schools and the department," Casey said, adding that she "commended" the community for making a recommendation that is in the best academic interests of the students and one that is affordable to the school board and the government.

"So this will allow modern new spaces for students to take their IT courses, for them to use the current technologies when they are doing their research, to allow teachers to use current technologies for delivering their curriculum and it will just bring Tatamagouche and those students into the new age."

The next step will be to begin the site selection and design process, which is expected to occur over the coming year. Construction is expected to begin during the 2015/16 fiscal year.

Monday's announcement also included the Ecole acadienne de Truro, which is to receive $2.5 million to add a number of new classrooms to make room for expanding enrollment.

"What's happened with Ecole acadienne is that they have had huge increases in their population," Casey said.

New schools are also planned for Bridgetown, Sheet Harbour, South-end Halifax and Yarmouth while new skilled-trade centres will be established at Avon View High School in Windsor, Dalbrae Academy in Mabou, Dr. J.H. Gillis High in

Antigonish and Ecole Secondaire du Sommet in Halifax.

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry

 

 

Geographic location: Tatamagouche

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  • chief wiggam
    December 24, 2013 - 08:31

    the problem with these, is that the personality of the school/community is lost. there is no life/love in concrete.