Maple Ridge among 10 P3 schools purchased by NS

LANTZ: Government is exercising its contractual right to buy 10 P-3 schools from developers Nova Learning and Ashford Investment, including Maple Ridge Elementary School in Lantz.

The price for the schools is $49.3 million and this purchase represents the best value for Nova Scotia taxpayers. It is estimated that purchasing the schools will result in substantial savings when compared with renewing the leases for the next 30 years.

The schools were developed in partnership with Nova Learning and Ashford Investments. Compared with estimates of leasing costs over 30 years, purchasing the three Ashford schools will save $21.5 million and purchasing the seven Nova Learning schools will save $34.9 million. These partners will be notified according to the requirements of the public-private agreements.

In 1998, the province signed agreements with four developers committing to long-term leases for 39 P3 schools. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development consulted with individual school boards to determine their infrastructure needs and to discuss their long-term plans.

The province accepted all recommendations made by the school boards, in terms of purchasing, leasing or returning properties to the developer. Through a review process, boards confirmed that 37 of the 39 schools were still required to serve future student needs.

The purchases announced July 19, bring this partnership to its conclusion, with 37 schools purchased and two surrendered or returned to the developer. The total cost of purchasing the 37 schools is $215.9 million.

This will assist the department to provide quality educational programming for students in schools that are well-equipped to meet their learning needs.