School will have new name

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Earth-shat­ter­ing

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.

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