School will have new name
During a visit to the Valley Road site on Jan. 5, along with Eastern School District board chairman Milton Peach and chief executive officer/director of education Ford Rice, Kennedy told The Compass he was “ very pleased to see plans for the new school moving ahead.”
Before his entrance into politics, Kennedy had represented a group of Carbonear parents in their quest to save St. Joseph’s Elementary (since torn down) and retain the K-12 school system — a battle that in 2004 went all the way to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.
While they lost that battle, Kennedy recalls at the time indicating that one day a new school would be built in Carbonear. Now that the project is finally underway, he said he is pleased to see that process unfold.
The MHA described the new school, and a new long-term care facility to be built adjacent to the Carbonear General Hospital, as good examples of the kind of educational and healthcare infrastructure needed in a growing town like Carbonear.
Challenger Construction was awarded a $2.5 million contract last fall to prepare the site.
Peach said he expects tenders for construction of the school to be called in the next couple of months, and he hopes construction will start in late spring or early summer.
The school building is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2012. However, Peach cautioned it is too early to say for certain if it will be ready for enrolment in September of 2012 or January of 2013.
He estimates the total cost of the project to be in the range of $15 million.
According to the Eastern School District’s website, Davis Elementary has 337 students in Grades K-5.
The school board chairman says the new school will be designed to accommodate over 400 students in Grades K-8.
By the time the new school is ready for its first student roll call, Peach says nearby Carbonear Collegiate — currently a Level I to Level III school — will have been reconfigured to accommodate Grades 9 to Level III.
After they complete Grade 8 in their respective towns, students from Carbonear, Harbour Grace and Victoria will be “streamed” into Carbonear Collegiate, Peach explained. Besides Carbonear, Harbour Grace and Victoria, the senior high school already accommodates students from the North Shore of Conception Bay and the Heart’s Content area of Trinity South.
An artist’s concept of the new school building on the sign at the Valley Road site tentatively identifies it as “Davis School.”
Built in the mid 1960s, Davis Elementary was named after Hudson Davis, a former prin- cipal of James Moore Regional High School and mayor of Carbonear.
However it’s unlikely the new school will carry the same name as the building it is replacing.
“ We have a process in place with the school council and student body to come up with a new name for the new school,” Peach concluded.
Built in the mid-1960s, Davis Elementary on Church Street in Carbonear has served as a primary/elementary school for 45 years. The 2011-12 school year will likely be its last as a new school to replace it is being built on Valley Road in the town’s west end.