Gan­der El­e­men­tary set to open on Thurs­day

Measures in place to deal with odour is­sues from nearby waste wa­ter treat­ment plant

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY ADAM RAN­DELL

Af­ter a busy sum­mer mak­ing fi­nal prepa­ra­tions, Gan­der El­e­men­tary, the town’s new­est school lo­cated on Magee Road, is set to open to stu­dents on Thurs­day.

Bron­son Collins, assistant di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion for pro­grams in central, said the New­found­land and Labrador English School District took own­er­ship of the school last week and be­gan mov­ing equip­ment and other ma­te­ri­als into the fa­cil­ity.

The school will be open to staff this week, with stu­dents set to ar­rive for the first day of school on Thurs­day – a day later than most other pro­vin­cial school open­ings.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful fa­cil­ity,” said Collins. “It’s been a long time com­ing, a new school for the Gan­der sys­tem, and I think the com­mu­nity is re­ally going to love the new school.”

The school also comes with a new web­site – gan­derele­men­ – and Collins rec­om­mends all par­ents check it out. The site con­tains im­por­tant opening in­for­ma­tion, along with buss­ing and stu­dent drop-off sched­ules.

“(It) will be the first week, and ev­ery­one will be ad­just­ing, but there is a very good plan on the web­site and we are ask­ing all par­ents to look at it,” Collins said. “We’ll also have a num­ber of peo­ple on site the first few days getting the rou­tines down.”

Ad­dress­ing odour con­cerns

The school is opening next to a waste­water treat­ment plant. While the plant will even­tu­ally be phased out when a new fa­cil­ity is con­structed in an­other area of town, par­ents have raised con­cerns about odor, as the town has pre­vi­ously stated the fa­cil­ity is run­ning at near ca­pac­ity lev­els.

Collins said the district is aware of th­ese con­cerns; how­ever, mit­i­ga­tion measures are in place to address the treat­ment plant un­til it is phased out.

“We as a district have ap­proached pro­vin­cial govern­ment through the build­ing of this school to make sure there were en­hanced car­bon fil­ters put in the build­ing, to help re­duce po­ten­tial odor is­sues that might arise,” he said. “The Town of Gan­der has com­mit­ted to the on­go­ing main­te­nance of the fa­cil­ity to help mit­i­gate any odors.”

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