Prince Arthur Junior High to be demolished in September
New school to be built on soccer field adjacent to junior high
Parents and students at Prince Arthur Junior High in Dartmouth say they're upset to learn this will be the last term before the building is demolished in September.
A new Primary to Grade 9 school is going to be built on the soccer field adjacent to Prince Arthur Junior High, and the school said the existing building will be destroyed before the start of construction.
Doug Hadley, a spokesperson with the Halifax Regional School Board, said officials only found out on Wednesday that the building needed to be demolished in order to keep the new construction schedule on time.
"We communicated that day with the school community, we talked to the staff, we also talked to the parents that evening," he said.
"We told them what was going to happen and now we're working on a plan on where we are going to relocate the students for next year."
Parents said during the P-9 planning process, they were told that students would be able to remain at Prince Arthur Junior High until the new school is complete in September 2017.
David Croft has a 14-year-old son at the school. Izaak has autism and Croft said the change will be too much, too soon for him.
"We were supposed to have all of next year to transition to high school. This is a kid who takes a long time to accept something new," said Croft.
"We're being completely robbed of the transition time that he requires."
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The closure will impact 300 students and Hadley says the school board has already met with the school's advisory committee to help them draw up a plan for September. He hopes to have an answer for parents and staff early next week.
"In order for the school to be built on time for September 2017, it was best for this school to be vacated so that when construction starts they can get in and out of the area where they are building the new school, just to facilitate the construction," Hadley said.
"We're looking at a solution that people can understand and appreciate and it won't have too much of an impact on other schools."