MONCTON, N.B. – Students at Moncton High School will be back in the old building in September, after the Anglophone East School District confirmed the new building won’t be ready.
“I didn’t believe it,” said Jayde Olscamp, a Grade 12 student. “I went on Twitter and everyone was tweeting about it and the actual Moncton High account had tweeted it, so I was like, ‘oh I guess it’s real.'”
In an e-mail and phone message to parents and students yesterday, Anglophone East Superintendent Gregg Ingersoll said the most significant delay was the gym.
“It’s due in large part to moisture in the cement caused by the weather which needs to be neutralized prior to the floor being installed. This is likely to take several weeks after the start of the school year,” Ingersoll said in the message.
“We discussed the possibility of moving in a little bit later, but there was just too much to be done. A few extra days wasn’t going to buy us enough time,” he told Global News. “When you move into a brand new school, you don’t want to move in if they’re still doing work around you, right? If we absolutely had to we would, but we don’t have to because we still have our current Moncton High School to use.”
The school is expected to be finished by mid-October, but students will not be moving until January. The exact date hasn’t been set yet and may either be over the Christmas break or after the end of the first semester.
Olscamp and her friends are a disappointed they won’t be starting the year at the new school.
“Mixed emotions about it I guess,” she said. “Kind of sad that we’re not in the new school, but kind of excited that we get to go back to the old one.”
Ingersoll went on a tour of the new school a few weeks ago. At that point, he realized the school would not be ready in time. He began discussions with the Parent School Support Committee (PSSC) and the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. The final decision was made a few days ago.
“I think this is the absolute best thing,” said Anne Marie Picone Ford, Chair of the PSSC. “Of course people are disappointed that they’re not going into this brand new school, but you know what January is not that far off, and it’s going to be that much better.”
In a letter earlier this year, the committee anticipated that their might be a delay with the new school and recommended that in case of construction delays, students should not be moved in the middle of classes. Picone Ford said she was pleased that the school listened.
“You know what? Four years ago, we went through having to move out in the middle of the semester and it’s very disruptive.”
Marie-Claude Blais, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, could not be reached for an interview Thursday, but gave a statement about the delay.
“Our government agrees with this decision to ensure a smooth transition to a fully functional school. We want students to benefit from new technologies, new equipment and a new learning environment. We want to thank the parents, students, teachers and the school district for their continued collaboration. The new Moncton High School will offer a dynamic learning and working environment in a state-of-the-art facility. We can all be proud of the work that has been done,” it said.