Plan to replace aging school moves along
Land purchase finalized for new Coley’s Point Primary
It appears Bay Roberts is one step closer to the opening of a new primary school.
Recently the land acquisition process finished for the site where a school will be built to replace Coley’s Point Primary. That school is now more than 60 years old.
Back in April when the 2015 provincial budget was announced, Port de Grave MHA Glenn Littlejohn said the site had been selected but it could not be announced because the sale had yet to go through.
The school will be located steps away from where the current Amalgamated Academy is located on Eric Dawe Drive. This will place all three of the town’s schools — which also includes Ascension Collegiate — within minutes of each other as well as the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex.
“This is the first big domino to fall for the project. Once the land was acquired, the other phases of the project can start,” he said. “Now the engineering will start and the actual design of the building will begin. “
Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood welcomes the news of the land acquisition. He has been at the heart of the pursuit of the new school, along with Littlejohn, since getting involved in council several years ago. In fact, the MHA has been pushing for a new school for the past decade since his time on council.
“It is an ideal location,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood. “I’m certainly pleased to hear that. The new school is first on the priority list.”
Over the past couple of year, Bay Roberts has been installing sidewalks and other safety measures in anticipation the land earmarked for the project would in fact be used.
In the 2015 provincial budget, the new school in Bay Roberts was mentioned among communities set to benefit from $65.2 million in spending on ongoing school infrastructure project. Some $2-million was earmarked for the facility.
In 2014, government’s intention to replace the aging school was announced as a part of some $128 million allocated for educational infrastructure in the province.
“The faster the groundwork and the faster that the actual building itself starts to go up, the better it will be for the children it will serve,” said Wood.
For the last number of years, classroom sizes at Coley’s Point Primary have increased, which made it necessary for the school to be replaced.
“Unfortunately, there was some delays,” said Littlejohn, speaking on the time between the initial announcement and now. “The delays were longer than any of us would have liked, but those things happen from time-to-time. The school board and the proprietor took longer than I would have liked to get it done, but it’s done. “So, now we can proceed.” Littlejohn anticipates that within the next couple of weeks signage letting the public know of the location will start popping up and if everything goes smoothly, work will begin on entrances and land preparation.
“The sooner, the better,” said Wood of construction. “I’m delighted to hear that, now let’s get the ball rolling, let’s get the ground cleared and let’s start putting up the mortar and the bricks.”
A land purcahse was recently finalized for the site of a school to replace Coley’s Point Primary in Bay Roberts. Work will now begin on the physical design and site preparation.