New high school on the to-do list
By Sarah Bissonette
June 1, 2012
PARRY SOUND – A new Parry Sound High School is on the school board’s to-do list, said Near North District School Board chair Kathy Hewitt.
“There’s talk of a new high school out there, absolutely, but there’s always a waiting list with the (Ministry of Education), as you know and secondly, we’re trying to get the North Bay one up and running,” said Hewitt earlier this week.
The school board is undergoing an accommodation review process this month in North Bay to look at closing three schools and moving students to a new facility.
The school board has requested provincial funding for a new school in North Bay, and Parry Sound is next on the list.
“In Parry Sound we need to replace the high school, it needs a lot of work,” said Hewitt. “So that’s a request we’ll be making of the ministry once we get our other schools up and running.”
The idea of replacing the current high school isn’t new.
“That’s been on the books for awhile, but I’m thinking it won’t happen for a while with the new (elementary school) and cutbacks,” said board trustee Linda Williams. “It’s been identified, but not too high of a priority.”
Whether a new school would be built on the current Joseph Street site or somewhere else in town isn’t yet known, said Hewitt.
“I don’t know the implications of tearing it down to build on the site,” she said. “I understand that school was added too, there’s a new part and an old one and I don’t know if they might just tear the old part down and build around it. It’s hard to say what will happen until we get down to the point where we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do.”
Repairs to the school are getting “too expensive,” said Hewitt.
The building has seen generations of families walk through its doors and leave as graduates.
“I went there as a kid years and years ago and sometimes it’s better to build a new one as opposed to putting a lot of money into it,” said Williams. “It’s not going to last a lot more years, it needs a lot of work put into it.”
While the request for ministry funding won’t get filed until next year, the project will go into the board’s capital funding budget this year.
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