New schools to be designed to account for Nova Scotia's growing population

Becky Druhan is Nova Scotia's minister of education and early childhood development. (CBC - image credit)
Becky Druhan is Nova Scotia's minister of education and early childhood development. (CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia's education minister says her department is reassessing new school construction projects to ensure they account for the province's growing population.

Enrolment at schools across the province is on the rise after years of decline. The influx of new residents that's resulted in the province's population topping a million people for the first time also means some schools are bursting at the seams.

Education Minister Becky Druhan said it's exciting to see population growth in the province, but that means new schools must be designed to accommodate growth now and into the future.

"That may mean that it's a footprint that can be expanded," she told reporters following a cabinet meeting in Halifax on Thursday.

"It may mean that it's built in such a way that we could add extra stories. That's absolutely something that we've asked the department and Public Works [Department] to make sure that we do to make sure that we're able to be responsive to those needs."

Druhan said the directive is intended to avoid situations that have occurred in some parts of the province where newly opened schools are already over capacity. Some recently opened schools have had to bring in portable classrooms to accommodate higher student populations not anticipated when the buildings were designed.

"We want to make sure that whatever we put in place is flexible so that we can be agile in the future."

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