Nova Scotia

Halifax board prepares to close 5 schools

The Halifax Regional School Board is getting ready to close five schools due to dipping enrollments and lack of provincial funding.

The Halifax Regional School Board is getting ready to close five schools due to dipping enrolments and lack of provincial funding.

The decision will be made Wednesday by the elected board whether to close Central Spryfield, Gertrude Parker Elementary, Prince Arthur Junior High, Sackville Centennial and South Woodside Elementary.

But it's not easy to close schools.

All members of the South Shore Regional School Board were fired last year for mishandling closures and planning secret meetings.

Halifax board member Gin Yee said this board is trying to get it right.

"We're also making sure that the debate is done at the public meeting. Especially with what we've seen at the South Shore Regional School Board, they're being very careful, deliberate and we want to make sure is all legal and everything is done the right way."

South Woodside's closest neighbour is the Imperial Oil refinery. It's also on a busy road. The school is only half full and the board wants to build a new one to replace it in about five years.

If schools in the region must close, even parents like Moira Burhoe MacDonnell understand why this one might be a justifiable candidate.

"It could be considered a good candidate, but for us, the people who live here, we don't want to see that happen," said Burhoe MacDonnell.

"Our children have access to programs and opportunities because their school is here in this community."

The board will hold its public meeting Wednesday at Dartmouth High, a place with plenty of room for what's expected to be a big crowd.

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