Construction delays disrupt return for some students
Work is continuing at schools in Oromocto and Riverview
Construction delays at two New Brunswick schools are giving some students an extra day of summer vacation and causing uncertainty for others.
Students at Summerhill Street Elementary School in Oromocto will have the day off on Tuesday as renovations continue at the school.
David McTimoney, the superintendent of the Anglophone West School District, said construction crews, cleaning staff and teachers require an extra day to get the school safe and ready.
McTimoney said the school's ventilation system and bathrooms were renovated this summer.
He said some further construction work remains to be done over the next couple of weeks, but the classrooms will be ready for students on Wednesday.
The delay also includes students who would normally attend Grades 3 to 5 at Geary Elementary Community School.
Police warn motorists
Motorists are being warned to be on the lookout for students as they return to classes this week.
"Communities throughout the province will experience an increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic as children return to school," said RCMP Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.
"Keeping our young people safe is everyone's responsibility, from parents to motorists, to the students themselves."
The police offered these tips for drivers:
- Slow down when entering a school zone
- Fines for speeding in school zones range from $345 to $1,200
- Be ready to stop at all times
- Pay attention to crosswalks, crossing guards and school buses
- Traffic in both directions must come to a full stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing. Drivers can only start once the driver has turned off the red lights
That school is undergoing extensive renovations and expansion this year, so those students will be attending Summerhill.
However, Kindergarten to Grade 2 students from Geary will start on Tuesday at Gesner Street Elementary School in Oromocto.
Uncertainty in Riverview
While the Oromocto-area students know when they will be returning to their schools, there is uncertainty in Riverview.
The new Kindergarten-to-Grade 8 school in Riverview, which was supposed to open this fall, has been delayed again.
Gregg Ingersoll, the superintendent of the Anglophone East School District, could not offer a new date for the $21-million Riverview East School to open.
"The construction is still going along. We just know it's delayed and how long that delay is going to be, we're not sure," he said.
With no completion date in sight, students will have to go to three separate schools.
But Ingersoll said students will be paired with the teacher they will have all year to make the transition easier when the move happens eventually.
The new Riverview East School was supposed to replace the aging Gunningsville and Lower Coverdale schools, with room to house 650 students.
Students, who were expecting to start their year at the new school, will now be sent to three different schools as they wait for the construction to finish.
Lana Hansen, who is also a Riverview councillor, said her two daughters will have to go to different schools.
Hansen said she has one daughter who will be leaving at 7:20 a.m. and another who is leaving after 8 a.m.
"That's a big gap in the morning, especially for a working mom trying to get to work," she said.
While the start to the school year will be a headache, Hansen said the new school will be worth the wait.
"Our kids are going to have a long time to still enjoy it and we're going to get the school that we always wanted for our children, so it's hard to complain too much," she said.
"But at the same point we're just so psyched to have it come this fall and then to have it delayed, I think, when it does come we'll be so exhausted from all the juggling of the schedules between the schools that we won't get to quite enjoy the start of it quite as much."