St. Bernard's to get more modular classrooms

     The Eastern School District has received approval to attach a set of modular classrooms to the side of St. Bernard’s Primary in Witless Bay.
     Approval for the application was given at this past month’s public council meeting.
     “Are these going to permanent?” asked councillor Ken Brinston, drawing laughter from some of the people in the chamber.
     “I’d rather not answer that question,” said Mayor Sébastien Després.
     “They tend to last much longer than anticipated,” allowed councillor René Estrada.
     The last time the school board applied to install a “temporary” classroom at the Kindergarten to Grade six school, the town placed a three year time limit on the unit to be followed at that time by a review, said Després.
     “If we don’t put a deadline, they become permanent,” he said.
     Council also stipulated that the next time the school board plans to add a modular classroom, it consult with the town first.
     That didn’t happen this time around. “No consultation was carried out,” Després noted.
     “We’ve got to have it,” councillor Albert Murphy said of the extension to the school, “unless we put them up in the Church.”
     Després suggested the motion on the books calling for public consultation be amended to say the town will inform residents about the project.
“To me it makes sense to approve for a period of three years with room for renewal,” Després added.
     The two new units will take up space currently used as a playground.
     The enrollment at St. Bernard’s is expected to increase by several students in September to a projected count of 349 children. It’s one of the few schools in the province to see its teacher allocation increase, by one full teaching unit.
     Ferryland MHA Keith Hutchings recently announced the region will get a new middle school, but no details were furnished. They are expected to come this fall as part of the PC Party’s re-election campaign.

Posted on August 7, 2015 .