More than 150 people gathered outside River Hebert District High School on Friday morning, demanding the government put aside politics and finish long-overdue renovations to the building.
The school was supposed to undergo significant upgrades but that was put on hold when the project went 45 per cent over budget more than a year ago.
Since then, students say they’ve been in crowded hallways and in a gym with cracked windows. There are large weeds and a swamp where the expansion was supposed to happen.
“The hallway, like last week, it was flooded which I found was really dirty,” said Kirk White, a student at River Hebert District High School. “I just think it’s not really right.”
On Friday, frustrations came to a head when parents made signs to protest the delay during a visit by the deputy minister of the Department of Education.
“I’m here for the kids in the community,” said Tanya McCallum. “If we lose this school, our community will be a ghost town.”
Deputy Minister Carole Olsen told the crowd their concerns had been heard and the province will issue new tenders within the next two weeks. She promised the cheering audience the work will be complete by September 2015.
Olsen said the ongoing election won’t change this commitment as all three main party leaders have said they will continue the work if elected.
Parents leaving the announcement said it's good news but they'll reserve judgment.
"We've had promises time and time again,” said McCallum. “It's been two years since they tore the other part of the building down and it's just been broken promise after broken promise, so I hope the government actually comes through with it this time."