Crews to start clearing land for new Bedford school this summer
The planned pre-Primary to Grade 9 school 'will help ease enrolment pressures' at other schools
Crews will start clearing land in Bedford, N.S., this summer to build a new school to relieve the chronic overcrowding in the area.
The Halifax Regional Centre for Education said the school will be built on Broad Street, off Larry Uteck Boulevard. It will take students from pre-Primary to Grade 9.
"The province was fortunate to find and purchase a piece of land large enough to accommodate a new school in Bedford, along with any future building needs because of rapid population growth," executive director Elwin LeRoux said in an email announcing the school on Wednesday.
"We expect the new pre-Primary to Grade 9 school will help ease enrolment pressures in the area."
Other schools crowded beyond capacity
The provincial government announced the Bedford Ravines school in 2018, along with plans to build eight other new schools.
Others schools in the area, like Basinview Drive Community School, have more students than they're designed to take. Basinview has a capacity of 579, but has about 680 students.
Allison Garber, co-chair of the school advisory council at Basinview, said the site of the new school sounds like a good location.
"I have not heard of any issues or criticisms of the location. I think Larry Uteck makes sense in terms of the development going up around there, especially with a lot of young families looking to that location to start their first home," she said Wednesday.
She said it will be "interesting" to see exactly which areas will be served by the new school.
Garber said Bedford has grown rapidly in recent years and the Halifax Regional Municipality should have planned for it.
"If we're putting more residents in certain areas, it's not rocket science that we're probably going to need more community support such as schools and walk-in clinics. It begs the question as to how such rapid development was given the green light in Bedford, without any plans to support families moving in."
She said Basinview sent its three Grade 6 classes to a junior high school to make room for the younger students and may have to send the Grade 5s away too, if the new school isn't built soon.
No opening date given
LeRoux didn't offer an opening date for the school, only saying it will be done two years after construction starts. He said they will hold a boundary review to figure out the catchment area. He said they'll have more information on that review in the fall.
He said the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal chose the site as it has access to power, water, sewage and transportation good enough to support a school.
Finding a lot like that for sale proved to be "very difficult," he said, so they jumped at the chance to buy the Broad Street land.
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