Head of the class

The Compass - - OPINION - — Terry Roberts

The top head­lines from last week’s provin­cial budget in­cluded a bil­lion dol­lars in bor­row­ing, the in­tro­duc­tion of full-day kinder­garten in two years, and grow­ing con­cerns about the mas­sive un­funded pub­lic sec­tor pen­sion li­a­bil­ity that will likely bur­den sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans.

But if you live in the Bay Roberts area, and are the par­ents of young chil­dren, your at­ten­tion was likely piqued by a lit­tle nugget buried a lit­tle deeper in the budget — that a new school will be built to re­place the de­crepit and over­crowded Co­ley’s Point Pri­mary, which has long out­lived its use­ful­ness af­ter more than six decades.

Fi­nally, af­ter many years of lob­by­ing, the prov­ince has given the green light for a project that is long over­due.

In three or so years, fol­low­ing what will very likely be an in­vest­ment of $20-plus mil­lion, pri­mary aged stu­dents in the area can ex­pect to pass through the doors of a mod­ern, state-of-the-art com­plex. And for those who have led the ef­fort to make this hap­pen, in­clud­ing Port de Grave MHA and for­mer mayor Glenn Lit­tle­john, that day can­not come fast enough.

To his credit, Lit­tle­john has cham­pi­oned this wor­thy cause for many years, stand­ing shoul­der-to-shoul­der with fel­low town lead­ers, par­ents and ed­u­ca­tors in a bid to con­vince school board and govern­ment of­fi­cials of the need. At long last, this stead­fast­ness and and de­ter­mi­na­tion has paid off.

Pol­i­tics aside, we give full credit to those who car­ried the torch, and hats off to the provin­cial govern­ment for green-light­ing this in­vest­ment into much-needed in­fra­struc­ture at a time of ex­tra­or­di­nary de­mands on our tax dol­lars.

If the newly opened Car­bon­ear Academy is any in­di­ca­tion, the next gen­er­a­tion of young stu­dents — and their teach­ers — in the Bay Roberts area can look for­ward to at­tend­ing a first-class school in the com­ing years. That’s a good thing.

Fi­nally, af­ter many years of lob­by­ing, the prov­ince has given the green light for a project that is long over­due.

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