School Board Site Choice for Richmond Academy to Stand

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

October 18, 1999 3:00 PM

The Strait Regional School Board's choice for building the new
Richmond Academy on Whiteside Road in Louisdale will stand,
Education Minister Jane Purves said today. The decision follows
environmental studies that confirmed the site is suitable for
school development.

"We have elected school boards, responsible for making decisions
about where to build their schools," Ms. Purves said. "I am also
faced with a legally binding contract with the builder, Ashford
Investments. There is no more room within the budget envelope for
this school, and costs of breaking or changing the contract would
take dollars out of the classroom.

"Given the school board responsibility in this area and the costs
of further delay, I am not prepared to overrule the board. Now
that the environmental issues have been assessed, we have to move
forward."

The minister met with parents from east and west Richmond, and
with school board representatives in September. She received
assessments from ADI environmental consultants and the Department
of Environment concerning water, sewage and other issues. The
Richmond County Municipality has also confirmed the sewage and
new well systems have the capacity to support a new school on
Whiteside Road.

"I have a lot of respect for the parents I met with, who've
worked hard on this issue," Ms. Purves said. "Unfortunately, when
you're building one school for more than one community, you can't
make everyone happy.

"Recognizing this, we all know, young people will make the new
Richmond Academy a great school, wherever it's built. With the
school board decision now confirmed, I hope parents can get
behind planning the new school for their children."

The new Richmond Academy is scheduled to open in September 2000.
The school board has committed to provide express buses for a
small number of students in the eastern corner of Richmond
County.


FOR BROADCAST USE:


     Nova Scotia's education minister is confirming the site

chosen by the Strait Regional School Board for the new

Richmond Academy.

     Jane Purves says environmental studies show the Whiteside

Road location in Louisdale is suitable for the school.

     She says two factors influenced her decision to support

the board's choice.

     One, elected school boards are responsible for choosing

where to build schools, and two, the province has a legally

binding contract with the builder, Ashford Investments.

     Purves says breaking or changing the contract with

Ashford would take dollars out of the classroom.

     Before approving the board's choice of site, Purves met

with parents from east and west Richmond and with school board

representatives.

     The new Richmond Academy is slated to open in September

2000.

-30-

Contact: Donna MacDonald
         Department of Education
         902-424-2615
         E-mail: macdondc@gov.ns.ca


kjd                      October 18, 1999     2:54 p.m.