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Falling Further Behind at Eastern Shore District High

 Letter to the Editor

 Falling Further Behind at Eastern Shore District High

The Superintendent of Schools for HRSB, Elwyn Leroux, has just announced that trucking of potable water to Eastern Shore District High will no longer be necessary, as newly drilled wells will shortly be connected to the school. This is certainly surprising, as engineering reports prepared for the Board clearly show that these wells cannot deliver a sufficient supply of water. 

The first report (March 2017) recommended drilling and testing of 2 or more new wells, and “After completion, a cost evaluation comparing the ongoing cost of water hauling versus the installation and operation costs for a groundwater system should be completed”. 

The report recommended a “...well field flow in the order of 7.6 USGPM [U.S. gallons per minute] in order to meet the projected daily demand. If the measured demand was to remain constant without any significant increases in school population, a well field rate of 5.3 USGPM is projected to meet demand.” The report noted “Neither the current demand nor anticipated future demand support fire protection loading or sprinklers at the facility….The most cost effective option...would require an estimated total well field flow in the order of 7.6 USGPM in order to meet the projected daily demand “ 

The October 18 report shows the results. Three wells were drilled.  The total volume from the wells was 5.1 USGPM, below the minimum 5.3 USGPM in the March report, and well below the recommended 7.6 USGPM. 

It seems that a cost evaluation has yet to be done, but that doesn’t seem to concern the HRSB; we suspect that the installation, including a new system to deal with the heavy mineralization, will quickly far exceed the current $50,000 per year to truck in water, if the school is to be replaced in the near future. 

Why are further tax dollars being wasted once again on this school? Close to $7,000,000 has been spent for principally cosmetic work, none of which comes even close to bringing this facility up to the standards of other high schools in Metro. Please, take a weekend drive around Metro, and see what other high schools look like. 

And since this, we now hear that at the HRSB meeting of Wednesday Nov. 22, the Board approved a motion by member Dave Wright to leapfrog the established priority list for school replacement (which included ESDH), and create a new list, to prioritize 3 schools, based on “overcrowding,”as opposed to condition. Overcrowding at CP Allen should not call for a new school; a new JL Ilsley will soon be built – make it big enough to accommodate students from Halifax West, 10 km. away, and shift any “overcrowded” students 10 km, from CP to Halifax West. (Dave Wright, by the way, is the board member who voted against placing ESDH on the replacement list.) 

Sadly, the motion was passed, but our HRSB representative, Bridget Boutilier, spoke, and voted, against it, and Gin Yee, current chair of the HRSB actually left the chair to vote against the motion. Gin Yee is a strong supporter of a new ESDH. 

Stay tuned 

Your tax dollars are at play!

Jean McKenna

Jean McKenna is a member of the Community Campus Vision Association. CCVA has been lobbying to replace both Eastern Shore District High and Gaetz Brook Junior High with a single new facility. 

 

 

 

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11 E Petpeswick Rd, Musquodoboit Harbour, NS B0J 2L0

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