Re­turn to Brook­land de­layed

Board post­pones stu­dents’ move back to flood-dam­aged Syd­ney school

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY DAVID JALA david.jala@cb­post.com

Stu­dents hop­ing to re­turn to a flood-dam­aged Syd­ney el­e­men­tary school will have to wait an­other four weeks.

Ear­lier this month, of­fi­cials with the Cape Bre­ton-Vic­to­ria Re­gional School Board held a pub­lic meet­ing at Brook­land El­e­men­tary, where it was an­nounced that the school would be re­open­ing to­day.

Classes have not been held at the south end Syd­ney school since be­fore last Oc­to­ber’s Thanks­giv­ing Day floods, which left rooms in the build­ing’s lower reaches cov­ered with more than four feet of wa­ter and mud. Since then, Brook­land stu­dents have been tak­ing classes at other Syd­ney el­e­men­tary schools.

Ren­o­va­tions to the lower level rooms have yet to be com­pleted and stu­dents re­turn­ing to their school will be spend­ing time in class­rooms on the main floor of the build­ing that’s lo­cated at the cor­ner of Cot­tage Road and Royal Av­enue.

Paul Old­ford, the board’s di­rec­tor This file photo, taken just two days af­ter the Thanks­giv­ing Day flood, shows a Brook­land El­e­men­tary School class­room af­ter the es­ti­mated four feet of wa­ter and mud sub­sided. The class­room is lo­cated in the lower floor of the school and is not yet ready to be used again. Stu­dents are now ex­pected to re­turn to classes af­ter the March break.

of op­er­a­tional ser­vices, said the de­ci­sion to post­pone the move back to Brook­land was made when the Nova Scotia Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion car­ried

out a one-day strike on Fri­day in protest of the pro­vin­cial govern­ment’s in­tent, since car­ried out, to leg­is­late the teach­ers back to work.

“Mainly it was the teach­ers strike last week which caused us not to be able to pack up class­rooms, so once we looked at that we fig­ured that March break would prob­a­bly be the most ap­pro­pri­ate time at this point in the game,” said Old­ford.

The new plan will have Brook­land stu­dents re­main­ing home on the Fri­day (March 10) be­fore the March break, so that staff can get the class­rooms set up. The stu­dents will also be off the Mon­day (March 20) fol­low­ing the one-week break be­fore re­turn­ing to school on Tues­day, March 21.

Mean­while, the af­ter­math of the flood is still very much ev­i­dent in the south end Syd­ney neigh­bour­hood, where about 20 homes were deemed un­in­hab­it­able. Not far from Brook­land, which sits on the site of the for­mer Colby School, St. Mar­guerite Bour­geoys Catholic Church is in the mid­dle of repa­ra­tions and hopes to wel­come back its con­gre­ga­tion by Easter.

And, across the Wash Brook from Brook­land, the lot of the for­mer Southend Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, pre­vi­ous used as Wood­ill Ju­nior High School, sits empty af­ter be­ing razed last month af­ter it was de­ter­mined to be struc­turally un­sound.

CAPE BRE­TON POST FILE PHOTO

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