During the recent municipal election campaign, most of the candidates in Wolfville said lobbying for renovations to the town’s school would be high on the priority list.
Good news, folks - it’s not taking that much effort at all.
An announcement from Education Minister Ramona Jennex Dec. 7 that funding would be available for the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board to move forward with the planning of renovations to the Wolfville School is welcome news to the community.
The school is one of seven in the province who will be able to access $500,000 set aside by the province to hire a consultant to build a business case for the renovations.
And without a doubt, they’re badly needed at the 62-year-old school. The junior high wing was built in 1950, making it older than Jennex herself, while the elementary part was added in 1971, designed in a pod-style layout.
When this school was built, in a post-second World War society, kids carried guns to school and had a spot for target practice. It was part of the culture of the time. According to Jennex, that spot’s still in the school – it’s just used as a storage facility now. At that point, man had not yet walked on the moon, the Berlin Wall had not yet fallen and the Internet was nothing but a dream.
Kids today deserve every shot we can give them. And that starts with offering them a modern school, filled with the newest technology we can provide. A school built in 1950 – even with an addition constructed 20 years later – definitely needs upgrades, at the very least, to put our kids on a level playing field with their peers in other parts of the province and across Canada.
Money was promised under the dying days of the Tory government in 2009 to rebuild the crumbling junior high wing in 2014.
Jennex says this announcement will make sure the renovations are on track for 2014 as promised by the NDP’s predecessors, with this process determining exactly what work is needed. The school board will be able to present the findings to the province, who will then take a look at this study – and the others across the province – and determine how much funding to allot to each project and exactly what the renovations will be.
We hope the school board, when hiring a consultant to do this study, will keep in mind just how important Wolfville School is to the entire community. It’s not only a spot where children are educated, it’s also truly the centre of the community. Its uses go far beyond just being a place where kids are taught reading, writing and arithmetic. It’s the heart and soul of a town.
Earlier consultation sessions were held, Jennex said, but the findings of those might not hold true today. She – and we at the Advertiser – are hopeful that the consultant will look at what’s needed by the community, as well as the students.