Imagine this $300M bill: consultant to Halifax school board | CBC

The cost of constructing and renovating schools for the Halifax Regional School Board could top $300 million, says the consultant behind the Imagine Our Schools capital project.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy threw out the “ballpark figure” at a special board meeting Wednesday to present the final recommendations.

“As we look in more detail at specific schools where an alteration or addition may not suffice and a replacement school is recommended, then that order of magnitude could go up,” she told the crowd gathered in Dartmouth.

O’Shaughnessy and her team are recommending a new high school for Eastern Passage and renovations to Dartmouth High and other schools.

They also suggest the closure of Auburn High or Cole Harbour High, as well as several smaller schools on both sides of Halifax Harbour that are experiencing falling enrolment.

If the school board implements all the recommendations, O’Shaughnessy said, the cost of construction and renovation could be between $25 million and $30 million a year for 10 years.

Howard Windsor, the one-man board, said getting the job done will depend largely on the generosity of the provincial government.

“[This] is the basis for a road map,” he said. “Then depending upon how the dollars will potentially become available from the province within some period of time, then you can pick away at it.”

Windsor and school board staff will review the recommendations in time to present their plan to provincial officials by the end of the month.

But parents will have another opportunity to comment at two upcoming meetings on March 17 and 19.

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