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New 'long overdue' school big relief for N.B. community

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Jenna Morton and her husband Alex have been advocates for a new elementary school in Salisbury, N.B., for years.

On Tuesday, they finally got their wish.

“This is so long overdue,” said Jenna.

As part of the province's capital budget for public school infrastructure, $20.1 million has been set aside for six major capital projects, including a new Salisbury Elementary School.

“This school is from the Cold War era. It literally has pieces falling apart. There's no sense trying to bring this up to code. We need a new school,” Jenna said.

Alex Morton said the province identified a need for a new building back in 2015.

“It's almost 75 years old and doesn't meet the needs of a growing community,” said Alex. “The whole community is very invested in the process and are supportive. This is excellent news and now needs to be followed through.”

Their twin boys should be at the elementary school, but due to overcrowding they have to attend the middle school right next door.

“With the elementary school here in Salisbury we're in a very strange situation where it only goes to Grade 5 because there's no room for the Grade 5’s. The Grade 5’s go over to the middle school here,” said Jenna.

Replacing the aging school was tops on the district's major capital priority wish list and Salisbury Mayor Rob Campbell said it was long overdue.

“We’re very thrilled. It’s been a long process. I want to give kudos to our parents who have been patient, but have been advocating for almost a decade for this new school,” said Campbell. “The building floods. There's ceiling tiles falling out. Light fixtures falling out. It's just an older facility that's crammed.”

Also announced on Tuesday, a new K-12 Anglophone school to be built in Dieppe.

Anglophone East School District Superintendent Randy MacLEAN said he went through a range of emotions when he heard the news.

“Everything from excitement to relief to pride to fear because the real work is about to begin,” said MacLEAN. “We worked with the community in Dieppe last year. This was our plan. We rolled it out and they’re very much in support.”

MacLEAN said there was a definite need for another English school in a predominantly French community.

“We’re busing almost 600 students to Moncton High from Dieppe,” said MacLEAN. “We’re adding students every day.”

The province also announced École Saint-Henri in Moncton will get an addition and upgrade.

The Department of Education said all the projects in the Greater Moncton Area are expected to be initiated within the 2024/2025 fiscal year.

Bessborough and Hillcrest schools in Moncton will also stay open through capital budget funding.

The other major projects announced by the province include:

  • A replacement for George Street Middle School in Fredericton
  • An infrastructure addition to Tabusintac Community School
  • A new facility to replace Forest Hill and Liverpool Street Elementary schools in Fredericton

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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