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Mayor Says New Schools May be Cheaper Option
(Monday, August 28/2000)-- Mayor Walter Fitzgerald says it might be more cost-effective for the Regional School Board to build two new metro high schools, rather than spend more than $40 million repairing and renovating three existing ones in Halifax.
The Mayor said the school board should consider constructing a new high school in the Clayton Park area, to replace the aging Halifax West High School; and building one new consolidated high school in the Bell Road area, to replace Queen Elizabeth High School and St. Patrick's High School.
Mayor Fitzgerald said the regional municipality might be willing to assist the school board on these ventures by providing a piece of land for one of the new schools in the Mainland Common area of Clayton Park.
In addition, he suggested the regional municipality and the school board meet with the Minister of Education to explore the possibility of locating the new combined high school on the campus of the Nova Scotia Community College on Bell Road.
A recent joint study by the school board and the Department of Education estimated that it will cost between $60 million to $115 million to repair, expand and replace metro's 15 aging high schools over the next decade.
Mayor Fitzgerald said " Our high schools are getting old. Maybe we should look at replacing them with new, modern facilities, rather than sinking millions and millions of taxpayers dollars into buildings that we are going to have to replace in the end. They are not going to last forever..an old building is still an old building, no matter what you spend on it."
The Mayor says he has discussed these issues informally with Stella Campbell, chair of the Halifax Regional School Board, and he hopes that both can meet soon with Education Minister Jane Purves to examine these projects.
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Mayor Walter Fitzgerald