Nova Scotia

N.S. government buys Newbridge Academy for francophone school board

The Nova Scotia government is buying a defunct private school in Dartmouth and converting it into a new location for the francophone school board in time for the next school year.

New Dartmouth high school will house 900 students starting in September 2020

The former Newbridge Academy will be renovated in time for students to enrol in the 2020 school year. (Kassandra Nadeau-Lamarche/Radio-Canada)

The Nova Scotia government is buying a defunct private school in Dartmouth and converting it into a new location for the francophone school board in time for the next school year.

The province is spending $28.5 million to buy and renovate Newbridge Academy, and turn it into a high school for Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.

Newbridge went out of business this summer after grappling with financial issues.

"This presented a great opportunity, this building coming on the market," said Education Minister Zach Churchill. "It allowed us to get a building for 2020. Otherwise, a new school build would have taken at least five, six, seven years."

While many schools in the province have seen their populations shrink, CSAP has been dealing with overcrowding. The province said there are currently 6,100 students in the French system, and this new school will have a capacity of 900. It is expected to open in September 2020.

Education Minister Zach Churchill says building a new school would have taken years, so this purchase was ideal. (Jonathan Villeneuve/Radio-Canada)

Churchill said purchasing the building cost $18.5 million, while the province will spend $10 million on the renovations.

"The cost is a lot lower to the taxpayers," he said. "Students will have access to a modern learning environment that will support their social, cultural and linguistic needs."

In a news release from the province, superintendent Michel Comeau said he's pleased with the purchase.

"Not only will this school allow us to provide our students with a modern learning facility, it will also address space pressures in schools in the Halifax Regional Municipality," he said.

There are currently seven CSAP schools in the Halifax region and 21 in the province.

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