'It's falling down around us': Sherwood parents pushing for new school

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'It's falling down around us': Sherwood parents pushing for new school

'It's falling down around us': Sherwood parents pushing for new school

Sherwood's home and school association is questioning what the future holds for the aging school.

The group says the recommendations to government that followed the Public School Branch's school review have left parents confused. 

"We were happy we were mentioned [in the recommendations]," said Amanda Dunn, the association's co-chair.

"But what that entails, nobody knows."

Dunn said her association tried to make a case to the Public Schools Branch that the 50-year-old elementary school needs to be replaced. 

While the board of directors didn't go that far, it did recommend the education department "take action to add additional space and improve school infrastructure in the L.M. Montgomery/Sherwood/West Royalty area."

Dunn is hoping that's a roundabout way of asking the P.E.I. government to build a new school. 

'We've been given many Band-Aids over the years'

"We've been given many Band-Aids over the years. [The school] is literally falling down around us.  It's bursting at the seams, and we're not seeing a relief in numbers," said Dunn.

"So we're wondering where we stand in all this."

School headed for overcrowding

With 519 students, Sherwood Elementary is at 90 per cent capacity right now, according to the Public School Branch's numbers.

But the school's population will not be impacted by re-zoning, and is projected to be overcapacity by 2018. 

Sherwood's principal, Jean Boudreau said overcrowding at the school is just one issue.

Aging infrastructure, including cracks in the floors and walls, is another. 

"I think that if we were to look at some of the things happening here, they can't be fixed," said Boudreau.  "When the floor's falling away from the walls downstairs, that's something that's major structural."

Boudreau also points to design problems with the building.  

"Sometimes we're forced to put individual teachers working with special needs kids in very small areas, storage rooms, under stairs, pretty much everywhere," he said.

"This building was designed for 25 kids in a classroom all in their rows.  But that's not the way education is done anymore."

Province not committing to new school or renovations 

In an e-mail to CBC, a spokesperson with P.E.I.'s education department said the province hasn't decided where and how it will spend school renovation funding after this year. 

The department's 5-year capital plan does include $14 million for renovations starting in 2018.

But the spokesperson said no decisions will be made until the Public Schools Branch and French Language School Board provide their "next school renovation priorities" to government this fall. 

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