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Education Minister Bill Hogan announces the location of a new K-5 school in Saint John's north end on Sept. 27, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

Site selected for new Saint John school

By Brad Perry Sep 27, 2023 | 4:43 PM

The province has unveiled where a new K-5 school in Saint John’s north end will be built.

It will be constructed on the former Crescent Valley School site on Ropewalk Road.

Education Minister Bill Hogan made the announcement Wednesday at Hazen White-St. Francis School — one of two schools the new facility will be replacing.

“I know the decision to close school buildings is not easy for communities, even in scenarios like this where a new school will be built,” said Hogan.

“It’s difficult to say goodbye to a place that has been home to so many and has so much history.”

The new school will replace Hazen White-St. Francis School and Centennial School, both of which are more than 55 years old.

It has been more than five years since the Anglophone South District Education Council recommended closing the schools and building a new one to replace them.

The site is between the existing schools and near community amenities such as the YMCA of Greater Saint John, the public library and the Canada Games Aquatic Centre.

Derek O’Brien, superintendent of the Anglophone South School District, said there has been tremendous support for this new school.

“This is a growing community and we are very pleased that the location will be in the heart of the neighbourhood to serve as a welcoming place for our students, for their families, and for all of the residents of Saint John’s north end,” said O’Brien.

Hogan said schools are more than just a place for students to learn during the day, adding they provide an important venue for different organizations to gather and host events after school.

The minister said there will be space to add a community hub in the school should a $7.5-million pilot project planned for the new south end school prove to be a success.

According to the province, the community hub could include childcare spaces, after-school programs, and spaces for community partners.

The total cost of the new north end school is $37.5 million, which includes just over $2 million for design. The province said it will invest $3 million during the 2023-24 fiscal year to support planning, design and site preparation.

Construction of the school, which will accommodate just over 500 students, should start next spring ahead of a planned September 2026 opening.