Safety concerns raised over broken pieces of asphalt on elementary school property in Halifax

Broken asphalt at Halifax elementary school flagged as safety concern
WATCH: Safety concerns are being raised over broken pieces of asphalt in front of a playground at a Halifax elementary school. Alexa MacLean has more.

Chunks of asphalt are scattered across the back end of a Halifax elementary school where children would typically walk over to access the playground.

St. Stephen’s Elementary School is in Halifax’s north end and throughout the summer months the state of the pavement on school property has worsened.

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“Originally, we were going to replace a section of the pavement and over the course of the summer, especially since school has ended, it’s deteriorated significantly to the point now; we’re going to replace the entire paved area,” Doug Hadley said, a communications coordinator with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education [HRCE].
The Halifax Regional Centre for Education says the area has deteriorated over the summer months.
The Halifax Regional Centre for Education says the area has deteriorated over the summer months. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

Some parents were under the impression that the repair work would be done over the summer, and with a new school year less than three weeks away, people are wondering why the work hasn’t been done yet.

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“It definitely needs to be improved, that’s for sure. It’s a mess, it’s all broken and cracked and a bit of a safety issue as well,” David Wall said, a parent from the community.

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According to Hadley, there isn’t a delay in the repair timeline.

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“What’s actually happened is the scope of work has changed. So, we have to re-scope it, we’re expecting to have that out within the month and the work will be done sometime this fall,” he said.

St. Stephen’s has a pre-primary program and runs classes from grade one to grade six.

Hadley says any safety issues surrounding the loose asphalt will be taken care of before the new school year begins on September 5th.

“We’re going to remove the broken asphalt. We’ll probably lay down some gravel, we’re hoping not to have to tape off the area because it’s right next to the playground,” he said.

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“We’re going to make sure that the playground and the playing field are open during the construction and while it’s not uncommon to have projects going on into the school year, we know they can be inconvenient.”

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Hadley said a request for proposal [RFP] will be awarded this September and the total pavement replacement project is expected to be completed before the end of November.

He added that communication will be ongoing as a way to minimize any impact on students and families.