Some people in small Cape Breton communities are worried about school closures as the Cape Breton-Victoria School Board reviews its spending.
Boularderie Elementary has 94 students. It's one of the schools the board is considering for closure.
The Primary to Grade 5 students would have to be bused 10 minutes down the highway to Bras d'Or Elementary. The Grade 6 students would have to be bused 20 minutes away to Sydney Mines.
Fraser Patterson, the local councillor, says the school is an integral part of the community.
"There's performances here, there's sports here, there's walking here and so on and so forth. So I think it's well used, it's fairly new and the student population is growing, so that seems to me to be a recipe for success and [should] not be put under the chopping block," he said.
Dwayne Symes has three children who attended the school. He says, not just the children but local organizations also rely on the school.
“Well, I do know there's other community groups that use the school for functions. My wife's on a dragon boat team, the Mamo Warriors, and they have all their luncheons and that. They use the kitchen — they use that free of charge, obviously. It's almost like a community centre in some ways,” he said.
Amanda MacKenzie's husband went to Boularderie Elementary and now they have two children there.
“I think we'd be heartbroken, in the sense that it's a second family to us. I go to the school. I volunteer. Our children love it there. It would be a great deficit in our community, I think, to see that go,” she said.
About $5 million was spent renovating Boularderie Elementary in 2002. Residents also point out, it gets a $150,000 per year subsidy from the province — which the board will lose if the it closes.
The school board says that funding will be taken into consideration, but in the end, decisions have to be based on what's best for the students across entire district.
There are 52 schools in the Cape Breton Victoria School Board.