$11.3-million Primary to Grade 12 facility to open fall 2009
Sam McNeish The Citizen Tiarnan Whalen (centre), along with Paige Black (left) and Madison Swan test drive a spot where a new classroom will be located with a new $11.3 million school will replace both ORHS and Oxford Regional Elementary.
OXFORD A grandiose new school will sit high atop the hill behind the former Oxford Regional High School, future home to the class of 2010, as the result of a project that was announced here this week.
Oxford Regional High School students Erin Dorn and Greg Gordon helped Education Minister Karen Casey break ground for the Primary to Grade 12 school scheduled to open in the community in the fall of 2009. The $11.3-million school will replace ORHS and Oxford Elementary, both aging facilities that have been discussed for repairs for a number of years.
This (ORHS) is a great place to go to the school and students will be given a better chance to learn and have more ambition to get an education at a place like this, co-student council president Zach Lawrence said
It was determined after several studies and through the work of the community group that lobbied for a new school that the best means of moving forward would come in the form of a new school.
A tender for the school design contract will be awarded soon and construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2008.
The Department of Transportation and Public Works will oversee the design and construction of the school, part of the provinces eight-year, $400-million capital construction program.
Im glad were getting a new school, ORHS co-student council president Danika Deveau said.
Both Zach and I are graduating his year so we wont get to go there, but my sister will and thats great for her, she added.
Casey, a former teacher and administrator, said she has been involved in discussions for the Oxford school since 2002 and said the hard work and commitment by the community leaders and supporters in Oxford led to the decision to build instead of repair aging facilities.
The question was always, how can we make this a better learn facility, she said.
The patience and leadership of the community helped to get us here today, she added.
Judy Davis, the acting principal for both schools, said the project is the beginning of a new era of education for Oxford and students from the surrounding areas.
There are wonderful things going on at ORHS and ORES, there are great teachers and great community spirit, Davis said.
It is that enthusiasm that has carried us to where we are today. But there is still a lot of work left to do. This will help make this a safe, healthy learning environment, she added.