Nova Scotia

Halifax school board delays capital projects

The Halifax Regional School Board has decided to delay a vote on a list of capital projects, including the reconfiguration of an elementary school in Dartmouth.

The Halifax Regional School Board has decided to delay a vote on a list of capital projects, including the reconfiguration of an elementary school in Dartmouth.

The board decided on Wednesday night that it would delay sending its list of projects to Nova Scotia's Department of Education until after March 28 — a meeting where the board is expected to debate the future of five schools in the Halifax Regional School Board.

"If you pass this motion as is with no amendments and no further debate, you're foregoing the decision of the school closures," said Gin Yee, the school board member who moved to defer the capital projects.

One of the proposed projects included changing Bicentennial School in Dartmouth — which is currently a primary to Grade 9 school — to a junior high school.

The idea was to make room for students from Prince Arthur Junior High School — one of the schools up for review — who would move into Bicentennial should their school close.

The elementary students at Bicentennial would then be moved to other schools around Dartmouth.

"If we pass the resolution, the staff report as  is, what you would do is you would pass early judgment on the closures of South Woodside School, Prince Arthur Junior High and the reconfiguration of Bicentennial School," said Yee.

"I urge my colleague to pass the deferral, let's let the school review process finish out for March 28."

Mike MacPhail, whose son is Grade 1 at Bicentennial School, said he was pleased the board will consult the community before making new recommendations.

"I'm glad we pulled together as a community, there were only a few of us here but I think we made our voice heard and got the result we were looking for," he told CBC News on Wednesday.

Jim Joyce, the chairman for Bicentennial's School Advisory Council, had attended a meeting earlier this week when several parents from Bicentennial said they were never consulted about the possibility of putting their school and Prince Arthur together.

On Wednesday, he said he was pleased with the board's decision.

"Hopefully the right decision will be made regarding Prince Arthur," he said.

Five schools in the Halifax Regional School Board are up for review: Prince Arthur Junior High School, Central Spryfield Elementary School, South Woodside Elementary School, Sackville Centennial Elementary School and Gertrude Parker Elementary School.