Return to Brookland delayed
Board postpones students’ move back to flood-damaged Sydney school
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.