New school in Sherwood, expansion at others top list of requests by P.E.I.'s Public Schools Branch

Growth in the suburban areas of Charlottetown is creating overcrowding in schools, says the province's Public Schools Branch, and it wants several schools expanded.

Government to address recommendations through upcoming capital budget plan

Sherwood School needs to be replaced, says the Public Schools Branch. (CBC)

Growth in the suburban areas of Charlottetown is creating overcrowding in schools, says the province's Public Schools Branch, and it is recommending one school be replaced and others be expanded.

Sherwood Elementary, the PSB said, should be replaced with a new school at or near the current location.

Amanda Dunn, co-chair of the Sherwood Home and School Association, welcomed the recommendation of a new school to replace Sherwood Elementary. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Amanda Dunn, co-chair of the Sherwood Home and School Association, said the group is pleased with the recommendations.

"We've been fighting for this cause for a couple years now. Wasn't any surprise that is was needed for sure, but we were so excited to hear it," she said.

"We have safety issues within the building and we'd like to see it done as soon as possible."

Making room

The PSB also wants 14 new classrooms built onto Stratford Elementary, which may also serve neighbouring Glen Stewart Primary, and 10 rooms added at both L.M. Montgomery and West Royalty schools.

Janet Cameron, principal at Stratford Elementary School, said the additional rooms would have an immediate impact.

"There's so much overcrowding here. We have very, very little space and actually I think I'd be safe to say we do not have any space at all at this point."

Janet Cameron, principal of Stratford Elementary School, says more classroom space would alleviate overcrowding issues at the school. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Cameron also said that with more rooms, the school could better educate students.

"There's many needs that individual children have so there would be space for them to have their needs met in the areas, and in more private areas."

Aging buildings

The Public Schools Branch will be taking those recommendations to the provincial government and request funding for those projects as well as money for other schools to make sure they're in good condition.

Parker Grimmer, director of the PSB, said the changes are needed because of the age of some of the infrastructure.

"Seventy per cent of our buildings are over 30 years old," he said.

Parker Grimmer, director of the Public Schools Branch, says 70 per cent of the school buildings under their jurisdiction are at least 30 years old. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

"Now is the time to start looking at maintaining those spaces, making sure that they serve students needs moving into the years ahead."

Every year the PSB makes requests and recommendations of funding for projects. 

The provincial government says it will respond to the request through its capital budget plan, which will be released in late November or early December.

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan and Mitch Cormier