FREDERICTON (GNB) – The site has been chosen for a new school on Fredericton’s north side.

The school, which will house about 500 anglophone students from kindergarten to Grade 5, will be built on Cuffman Street, in the same neighbourhood as Willie O'Ree Place and Leo Hayes High School.

“We know that increasing enrolment in Fredericton-area schools has been a growing concern over the past few years,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “Parents, students, educators and district education councils have asked that the department address this issue.”

The new facility is expected to ease enrolment pressures, particularly at Gibson-Neill Memorial Elementary and Park Street schools.

“My team and I have been pleased to collaborate with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development on the creation of this school,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “The new school will provide a much-needed learning facility for an area of New Brunswick that has been growing significantly. I am very excited about this project and I know parents in the neighbourhoods around the school are looking forward to its completion.”

A number of factors are taken into consideration when choosing a site for a new school, including community amenities, community school use, catchment area, accessibility of the site, available utilities, transportation strategies, natural site conditions and site size.

“The district education council is very pleased that we are taking another step in this process for creating a new K-5 school in the northeast area of Fredericton,” said Thomas Geburt, Anglophone West council chair. “The previous council was instrumental in identifying the requirement for this new facility to address a variety of concerns associated with population growth in the area and its impact on the delivery of education for our student population. The current council applauds the government for recognizing the requirement and for its actions in moving this project forward. We know that this will have a positive impact on future students.”

The school will feature 26 classrooms and support spaces, such as music and performing arts rooms, a gym, a library and a cafeteria. The school’s design will allow for flexible learning environments, engaging learners and promoting general well-being among students and staff.

“We could not be more pleased and excited for Anglophone West School District families and students,” said district superintendent David McTimoney. “This state-of-the-art facility will be a welcome addition to our school community on the north side of Fredericton, and it will be home to meaningful student learning and activity for many years to come.”

The government has allocated $4.2 million this fiscal year for the selection and purchase of the site, as well as planning and design work. Architectural design is now underway. The project was identified as the most crucial priority for the 2021-22 school year through the department’s data-driven Quadruple Bottom Line Analysis.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2022. The school is expected to open in 2024.