Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia buys 2 P3 schools for $12.9M

The Nova Scotia government has announced plans to buy two P3 schools: O'Connell Drive Elementary School in Porters Lake and Riverside Education Centre in Milford.

'We looked at the cost to lease or to purchase and we made the decision to purchase'

The province will pay $8.95 million for Riverside Education Centre. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The Nova Scotia government has announced plans to buy two P-3 schools.

O'Connell Drive Elementary School in Porters Lake and Riverside Education Centre in Milford will be turned over to the province in July 2018 when the leases at the public-private partnerships expire.

"We looked at the cost to lease or to purchase and we made the decision to purchase," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey.

The province will spend $3.95 million to purchase O'Connell Drive Elementary School. (www.novalearning.ca)

Casey said that decision will save the province about $20 million.

The province will spend $3.95 million to buy O'Connell Drive Elementary School and $8.95 million for Riverside Education Centre.

The government had only a few more days before they had to make a decision.

They had to purchase, surrender or extend the lease of the two schools before July 31.

There are seven other Nova Learning schools with decision notice dates pending, ranging from July 2017 to August 2018.

"I expect that there will be different results based on our negotiations in what's in the best interest of taxpayers in the province," said Casey.

Altogether there are 39 P-3 schools in the province. The contracts were struck in 1999 as a way of allowing the deficit-laden province to build new schools without having to go further into debt. The province rents the schools from the developers.

Casey said negotiations are ongoing with the developers of the remaining schools.

About the Author

Paul Palmeter is an award-winning video journalist born and raised in the Annapolis Valley. He has covered news and sports stories across the province for 30 years.

With files from CBC News