Board supports Strait schools
Board agrees Dalbrae, Bayview needed after leases expire in 2021
The fate of three Inverness schools was clarified at a special meeting of the Strait Regional School Board on Wednesday night when board members voted unanimously to notify the Department of Education that it will still need both Dalbrae Academy and Bayview Education Centre after their P3 leases expire in 2021.
That decision came after a review of the Dalbrae Academy feeder system that began last fall and finished April 30. The review was held to determine if Port Hood’s Bayview Education Centre or Mabou’s Dalbrae Academy would be needed after their leases expired on the P3 buildings. Bayview and Whycocomagh Education Centre are both feeder schools for Dalbrae but the Whycocomagh school is already owned by the Strait Regional School Board. Bayview Education Centre and Whycocomagh Education Centre are P-8 schools while Dalbrae Academy currently serves Grades 9-12.
Danielle MacLeod, a member of the school options committee, said there’s a feeling of relief after Wednesday’s vote.
“This is very good,” said MacLeod in a telephone interview on Thursday morning. “We’ve been fighting for this since last October. It’s a good feeling. We had to look at each school, we had to do tours of each school and we had to look at the costs of running it — the province owns Whycocomagh Education Centre but the other two schools were being leased.
“We’re very pleased — we showed 100 per cent community support through letters and petitions at all three of our public meetings and then the Strait Regional School Board voted unanimously in our favour, which is nice. They took a recorded vote from each person and it was a unanimous vote so that was great.”
The school review also addresses issues including excess space and reorganizing the system to best use school facilities.
The Strait Regional School Board will now notify the provincial department of education that they will continue to require Bayview and Dalbrae.
“So with all that support now, it’s basically up to the government now — if they decided to go against all of us and decide to close one, there’s not much we can do about that. Hopefully that won’t happen,” said MacLeod.
The province has the final decision on whether to purchase those schools.
“We’ve been fighting for this since last October. It’s a good feeling. ” Danielle MacLeod
Dalbrae Academy in Mabou is shown in this file photo.