A new Kindergarten-to-Grade 3 school in Bay Roberts has been included in the provincial budget since 2013 — but the existing Coley's Point Primary school still hasn't been replaced.
Parents of students attending the school say they've had it.
'And our school, where it's 60 years old, it sits on a dirt floor — so there's no air ventilation.' - Lisa Neville
School council president Lisa Neville told the St. John's Morning Show Thursday that with 350 students inside a small building, overcrowding has become a large issue.
"I feel that because the money has already been allocated and taken away so many times, if anybody deserves a school right now, it would be Coley's Point Primary," Neville said.
"We will be taking on portables when the all-day Kindergarten comes on stream in September, which is just adding on to our school. We've been in the budget since 2013 — and it's pretty frustrating right now for a parent and for someone who sits on the board to watch other schools go up on the Avalon. Our school keeps getting put off."
Air quality another issue
Neville said some of the rooms in the school don't have windows, and parents are concerned about the lack of ventilation.
"There's no natural light in there. And our school, where it's 60 years old, it sits on a dirt floor — so there's no air ventilation," she said.
Neville said parents are concerned about mould, adding that some of the students have developed asthma-like symptoms.
Some closets have even been converted into offices, and the gymnasium is being used as a makeshift cafeteria.
"There's no designation of a cafeteria or an eating area. When it's [the gymnasium] used for concerts, book fairs or anything of that nature, students are eating in their classrooms," she said.
"If there were schools that didn't have the health concerns or the safety risks that our children are being put under in overpopulation, maybe they should be put on hold so that Coley's Point Primary can go ahead."
Town, MHA giving full support
Neville said Pam Parsons, who is the Liberal MHA for Harbour Grace-Port de Grave, and the Town of Bay Roberts have been supporting the parents "100 per cent."
'If anybody deserves a school right now, it would be Coley's Point Primary.' - Lisa Neville
With a current deficit of more than $2-billion, and the provincial budget looming, Neville and other concerned parents have drafted a petition.
"We've been going door-to-door, and we've had it in all the stores here. We're also having a rally, hopefully on Friday, barring the snowstorm," said Neville.
"And we'll be passing the petition to our MHA, so she can bring it in and show the support that we have."