This column has been written by David Finlayson, Halifax Regional School Board Representative for District 7.
Last night, the Imagine Our Schools consultant report was presented to the school board for consideration.
Overall, the consultants have planned for significant growth in the Bedford West and Bedford South areas.
CS&P Archtects recommended a new high school for CP Allen, which has since then been approved. The school is scheduled to be open by 2012.
A new junior high school would replace, in a similar location, the present Bedford Junior High.
A new school at the Eaglewood location has been recommended, with a boundary review to send some of the students to Basinview Drive Community School.
Basinview was favoured to stay as is, with more students from Sunnyside (Waverley, Fort Sackville and Eaglewood).
Bedford South School was recommended to move to a junior high school, when the funding for a new elementary school becomes available.
Further to this, after showing the significant growth in the area, the consultants recommended that six new elementary schools will be needed over the next 15 years as well as a new junior high on the Bedford West site. Also needed will be a new high school between Bedford West and Larry Uteck Blvd.
The capital list has been committed for the next few years, so HRSB will be approaching the Department of Education and the province with the recommendations sometime next spring or summer.The process to ratify the report now goes to staff at HRSB who will spend the next few months reviewing the data and recommendations that were brought forward.
The board hopes to receive a report in October or November from staff and will then take public submissions on the recommendations over the next quarter.
At this point we will have public submissions in certain families of schools and hear from the community on why certain suggestions are valid or not.
It will be an interesting time with a new provincial government and a new 10 year facility plan to present to them by the summer of 2010 to get funding for these projects.
I hope to hear from the community on their thoughts on the recommendations.
The results can all be found at www.hrsb.ns.ca.