To the Honourables Kevin Murphy, Zach Churchill, and Keith Colwell:
On behalf of the Community Campus Vision Association, I would like to extend our great appreciation for your efforts and decision, approving a replacement school for the Eastern Shore District High School. We know that through review of all of the data provided, and by listening to the strong public words of support, you realized that replacement of this unhealthy and outdated facility is a need, not a want. You have recognized that this facility, in design alone, does not begin to match the standards of virtually every other high school in the province.
In the words of retired Superintendent of Schools Don Trider:
"In summary, school facility design has changed significantly over the past 50 years. We are thinking differently about what our schools need to be and how the facilities themselves can actually position our students (and their teachers) for success. A new facility on the shore will excite students and enrich student interest in working hard, studying hard, arriving at school well prepared and on time, and generally caring about learning.”
Health and safety issues such as asbestos, ventilation, water, and the absence of sprinkler system were major factors in this need.
Since your announcement we are hearing throughout the district a clamour of voices enthusiastically, and with relief, responding to your announcement.
We recognize that this project is in the second wave, the 2019/2020 fiscal year. However, looking at timelines from other projects throughout the province, the lead-up to construction can be even more time consuming than the construction work. As well, the communities tell us that they do not want to sit idly by, doing nothing, for a year, and then eating into the project time line with a planning process that can, as noted, further delay the actual delivery of a completed school.
Indeed, throughout our advocacy over the past several years, one of the most frequently raised issues, was "where will it go?" Our response has always been that the first step was to get government commitment to construction of a new school. We now have that commitment. We hope that you will move forward promptly with this exciting opportunity, and (if you have not already done so) formally advise the Regional Executive Director pursuant to Regulation 14(2) to move forward with the site selection process.
Thank you again for your hard work in reaching this conclusion, which will greatly benefit, not just our students and teachers, but also all of the area.