By Richard Bell
HRCE has announced that the opening of the consolidated junior/senior high school under construction in the Eastern Shore Industrial Park has been delayed until at least September of 2024. The previous opening date was September of 2023. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:
“We previously communicated that the plan for school opening was September 2023. An update to the project schedule has been provided to us and based on a variety of factors, we are now working toward a September 2024 opening date[Cooperator emphasis]. Like many construction projects worldwide, shortages of material, equipment and labour are impacting completion dates.” [Editor’s note: the phrase “working toward a September 2024 opening date” is not a solid commitment that the school will be open by September 2024.]
If the Province is successful in meeting a September 2024 opening day, more than six-and-a-half years will have passed since Education Minister Zack Churchill’s announcement of the replacement on April 30, 2018. On May 7, 2018, Churchill told a public meeting that he was planning to eliminate any possibility for meaningful public participation in the site selection process.
On June 25, 2019, more than a year later, Churchill finally issued the five pages of the new site selection rules that did eliminate public participation in the site selection process.
In releasing these rules, Churchill deplored the time delays he said were caused by the old rules with public participation, time delays that could run as long as six years!
Here’s what Churchill said about how his new rules eliminating all public participation would speed things up:
“Getting a new school is very exciting for communities, but often, under the old process, lengthy delays meant some schools took up to six years to complete. The new, simplified process can significantly reduce this time so families don’t have to wait longer than necessary to benefit from a new school.” [Cooperator emphasis]
[For a detailed history of the new school, check out the “Timeline for Consolidated School in the Eastern Shore Industrial Park” on the Cooperator’s website at: https://www.easternshorecooperator.ca/timeline_for_consolidated_school_in_the_eastern_shore_industrial_park