Two rural schools slated to close get a reprieve
by Sandy Lindsay

April 5, 2017


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Two rural schools slated for closure received a reprieve on Tuesday, April 4th when the Bluewater Board of Education recommended that they take another look at them.

Paisley Central school in Paisley and Beavercrest in Markdale were both up for closure until the communities began to fight back.

Paisley's school was to be closed next year, June 2018, due to declining enrolment and repairs needed to the building.

The board heard however, that to help with capital costs, Arran-Elderslie township had made the decision to rent rooms in Paisley Central school to help defray costs.

In addition, the community has to come up with the funds for repairs by March, 2019 or the school will close in June of that year.

Beavercrest in Markdale had the added advantage that two major contributors had stepped in with financial offers of significant magnitude.

Chapman's Ice Cream, the major employer in the community and which is currently undergoing a major expansion that will result in the hiring of hundreds of people, has committed $2 Million to the school.  The Municipality of Grey Highlands also agreed to contribute financially and a developer, Parataxis that is about to begin a major housing development, also agreed to match Chapman's offer of $2 Million.

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Parent groups in both communities are cautiously happy with the outcome and that Board staff had apparently listened to their reasonings to keep the schools open, at least for the short term of one to two years.

The final decision by the Trustees regarding the new staff recommendations will be made at the Board meeting on April 18th.

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Thursday, April 06, 2017