Georgetown community celebrates school announcement

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Schools once slated for closure in need of repair, says Opposition

Parents and community members in Georgetown are celebrating Premier Wade MacLauchlan's announcement late Tuesday morning that no Island schools will close.

Georgetown Elementary is one of two schools that the Public School's Branch recommended for closure at its meeting Monday evening. Any closures had to be approved by cabinet, and MacLauchlan announced Tuesday that cabinet would not approve any school closures.

News of the announcement quickly spread through town Tuesday afternoon.

"The kids were doing cartwheels in the hall this morning at the school," said Mallory Peters, president of the Georgetown Elementary Home & School Association. "I've been driving around this morning, and everybody seems to be just on cloud nine." 

'Emotional rollercoaster'

Georgetown Mayor Lewis Lavandier described the time from meeting Monday evening to the Premier's announcement Tuesday as an "emotional rollercoaster."

"It seemed pretty bleak last night, and we figured that you know, they may go along with the recommendations of the board," said Lavandier. "I can't describe how I feel today."

More work to do

Community organizers who had been rallying against the closures said even after the recommendation to close Georgetown Elementary, they woke up Tuesday morning with every intention to keep fighting until the very end.

Peters said she visited the school Tuesday morning and spoke to all the classes, ensuring them that she and others in the community were going to keep fighting.

"We were going to go in and try to request some meetings with the premier and the cabinet, and just really push forward," said Peters.

While Peters is celebrating Georgetown's good news, she said there is more work to do. She said the community will now focus on trying to improve enrolment, as well as advocating on behalf of the school to ensure it gets the resources it needs.

"It's just beginning, but a little break might be nice," said Peters.