MODL to intevene in judicial review over school closure

by Charles Mandel

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>MODL has instructed its legal counsel to intervene in the controversial school closing.</p>

The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) is intervening in the Judicial Review of the South Shore Regional School Board's decision to close the Petite Riviere School.

MODL has instructed its legal counsel to intervene in the controversial school closing.

MODL's motion came in response to a request from the Greater Petite Area Community Association, which requested the municipality join their efforts to have the court overturn the closure decision.

Lunenburg Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson condemned the decision to close the school in a strongly worded statement.

"Building strong communities that appeal to families and businesses is critical to the success of rural municipalities, and we feel strongly that closing rural schools is counter-productive to this goal," Bolivar-Getson said.

In its statement MODL said beyond the negative effects of rural school closures on the community, they also result in surplus schools landing in the municipality's lap.

Remediation or disposal costs for such schools could go as high as $1-million, MODL said, noting that the money could be better used to invest in the economy, recreation or other council and resident priorities.

At the time of deadline, South Shore Regional School Board superintendent, Scott Milner, could not be reached for comment.

The Greater Petite Area Community Association has argued that the motion to close both the Petite Riviere and Pentz elementary schools is in breach of the Education Act.

For its part the South Shore Regional School Board has previously contended that it cannot reverse its decision because it must follow the laws in place at the time.

The schools are slated for closure by July 31, 2018, and that the students will move to Hebbville Academy in the following school year.

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