Council supporting efforts to establish community hub at River John school

Sueann Musick
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PICTOU – County council is throwing its support behind a grassroots committee dedicated to keeping the River John School open past 2015.

Coun. Robert Parker said it seems the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board is “letting time run out” on the scheduled closure of the rural school and asked if there was more county council could do to help keep it open.

“It seems a shame to let the clock run out,” he said, in response to a letter from the school board stating that River John School was not included in its current capital plans because the school is slated for closure in June 2015.

However, the school board letter did state that the closure may be mitigated by a community group currently looking at the possibility of a hub concept school model that would see the school building used for more than just schooling.

A small component of the community hub will be a business hub where a number of small businesses, start-up companies and single proprietor operations would form a co-operative and rent a portion of the school for business-related activities such as meetings.

Warden Ron Baillie said the Save Our School committee investigating the Hub concept will be meeting with the school board’s director of operations on May 20.

He said the committee is expected to ask the school board for an extension on the closing date. Baillie said some school board members are expected to attend this meeting as well and county council has already sent a letter of support for the committee’s work.

“Would it help to have a representative from council there?” asked Parker.

Baillie said he would talk to the chair of the committee and report back to council on whether the committee wishes to have a council member present.

Organizations: River John School, Central Regional School Board, School committee

Geographic location: Chignecto

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