Mainland North School Construction Planned

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

January 19, 2001 10:30 AM

A new school will be built to serve the growing population in
Halifax's Mainland North region and replace Halifax West High
School, Education Minister Jane Purves announced today.

"We have to look at the long-term educational needs of students
growing up in the Mainland North area of Halifax," Ms. Purves
said. "This is a growing community, and this school will take
care of several pressing educational needs."

The new school, projected to hold around 1,500 students, will
take in about 900 students in the Halifax West population as well
as students in the rapidly expanding area.

The $26 million project replaces a previously approved plan to
renovate Halifax West High School. Final engineering studies
indicated that it would cost $7.4 million to do critical repairs
and upgrades to Halifax West. However, the engineer, after
community consultation, recommended additional enhancements that
would bring the project up to $11.4 million.

"This renovation would only solve one problem," Ms. Purves said.
"There are other needs to meet, and after careful analysis along
with the Halifax Regional School Board, we believe we should take
this opportunity to meet them."

Sandra Everett, chair of the Halifax Regional School Board,
commended the minister for taking a very thorough look at the
needs of the community. She said the board has been working in
recent months to develop an overall plan for Halifax area high
schools, and it is clear that the present facilities in this area
cannot hold the students coming up.

"A Mainland North high school will relieve present and potential
overcrowding in neighbouring schools," Mrs. Everett said. "This
also offers an opportunity to have more programs like French
Immersion in another area of the city."

The Mainland North project will proceed immediately, and the
school is projected to open in the fall of 2002. Halifax West
students are currently sharing J.L. Ilsley High School on a split
shift, and the school board will meet with the school communities
to determine if that interim arrangement will continue.

Government is currently considering recommendations of the School
Capital Construction Committee with a view to developing a long-
term plan for school facilities across the province. School
boards submitted requests which were reviewed by the committee.


Staff from the Department of Education has been working closely
with the school board and the Halifax Regional Municipality to
identify a site for the new facility on the Halifax North
Mainland Commons. Halifax Regional Municipality council has
approved in principle a contribution of land and services for the
project, worth in excess of $1 million dollars.

"All levels of government have to work together to meet the long-
term needs of students in our growing municipality," said Peter
Kelly, Mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality. "This is a
very positive collaboration between the Government of Nova
Scotia, the Halifax Regional Municipality, and the Halifax
Regional School Board."


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     A new school will be built to serve the growing population

of Halifax's Mainland North region. Education Minister Jane

Purves announced today that the school will replace Halifax West.

     The new school will hold about 1,500 students. It will

accommodate about 900 students from Halifax West and ease

overcrowding in Sir John A. MacDonald High School.

     The $26 million project replaces the Department of

Education's previous plan to renovate Halifax West. Renovations

to the old school would not have increased its capacity.

The school is expected to open in 2002.

-30-

Contact: Cathy Shaw
         Department of Education
         902-424-3757
         E-mail: shawcm@gov.ns.ca
        

kjd                      January 19, 2001     10:47 a.m.