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New K-8 School Will Be In Rainbow Park

By Tamara Steele Dec 12, 2022 | 5:14 PM

MLA Jeff Carr. Image: Tamara Steele

Rainbow Park has been officially announced as the location for a new kindergarten to grade eight school in Saint John’s south-central peninsula.

It will be able to accommodate about 450 students and will replace both Prince Charles and St. John the Baptist/King Edward schools.

A $2 million investment from the province for the 2023-24 fiscal year will support the continued planning, design and site preparation work.

Infrastructure Minister Jeff Carr joined Saint John Harbour MLA Arlene Dunn for the announcement at City Hall on Monday morning and was asked why the project hasn’t moved forward.

“I think there were some issues at the department, closing the loop on a few of the files. When I became the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Arlene [Dunn] and her other caucus colleagues in the area came to me and said, ‘we need to make this a priority,'” Carr said.

A city staff report obtained by our newsroom last week suggested that Rainbow Park would be the site for the new school.

Mayor Donna Reardon is happy with the school development but she understands it’s challenging to find enough available land in the south-central peninsula.

“There was a lot of negotiation here. I was on the team that selected that site. The province does their own site selection process. They look at what they own. They own half of St. John the Baptist/King Edward. The other side belongs to the Catholic church,” Reardon said.

Reardon said she thinks finding the right space took some time.

She said the model they are talking about has space for all the wrap-around services so it doesn’t only support the children, it also supports the families.

At Monday’s announcement, Dunn spoke on behalf of Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Bill Hogan.

“As we continue to work on building a world-class education system, it is important to invest in our schools to ensure students receive the proper education they need to succeed,” she said. “I very much understand the importance of this project and the positive impact it will have on the city and the students in the area.”


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