Stratford proposes 2-school, multi-sports field complex
'We have a huge need for infrastructure in Stratford here, for school infrastructure'
The Town of Stratford, P.E.I., has unveiled a plan for a complex with two schools housing 1,600 students, a sports arena, and multiple sports fields.
The complex would cover a 65-hectare area.
"School infrastructure is very, very important to parents and residents of Stratford," said Stratford Mayor David Dunphy.
"We have to get that message across to the Public Schools Branch, to the Public Schools Branch board and to the province of P.E.I."
The plans were presented at a packed public meeting in Stratford Wednesday night.
They include a junior high school and a senior high school — each designed for 800 students — an ice surface, baseball and soccer fields, basketball courts, and other sports facilities.
The plans have already been presented to the Public Schools Branch. Next week, the Public Schools Branch will present the results of its study of overcrowding of schools in Charlottetown. Currently, Stratford buses all of its junior high and high school students to Charlottetown.
"We have a huge need for infrastructure in Stratford here, for school infrastructure, and we feel strongly that it needs to be addressed and needs to be addressed now," said Dunphy.
Stratford parent Denise MacLeod-Ling is excited by the plan.
"This proposal is exactly what we've been talking about at all of the consultation meetings," said MacLeod Ling.
"I know myself, when I was in school on this side of the bridge, I couldn't compete much in the after school activities because there was no one to pick me up. If I was in my own community I would have been able to stay in softball, maybe participate in band."
Dunphy is proposing a collaborative project, where the town and the schools would share the sports facilities.
In order for the plan to become a reality, the Public Schools Branch first needs to recommend that it be built. That could come out next week as part of its study on overcrowding in Charlottetown schools.
After that, the province needs to approve the infrastructure spending.
The town does not yet have a location in mind for the complex, noting there is little space in the centre of town for something of this size.
Dunphy is encouraging residents to attend the Public Schools Branch meeting next week to show support for the plan. That meeting is Wednesday at Stonepark School in Charlottetown.
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With files from Natalia Goodwin