Plans for new Robert Moore School unveiled

The director of education with the Rainy River District School Board addressed parents and community members last night at Robert Moore School during an information session regarding construction of a new school there.
Jack McMaster explained Robert Moore was declared “Prohibitive to Repair” by the Ministry of Education back in 2003, which means the building is too costly to repair.
And last month, the provincial government offered to provide planning approval for a total capitalized value of $9.8 million to address facility conditions.
This means the board has entered into the first phase of building a new school. The funds are there—but it has to go through the planning process in order to gain approval from the ministry and receive the funds.
McMaster indicated he’s confident the board will receive approval as they plan to work closely with the ministry.
“We will have the okay this summer sometime,” he noted, admitting the timelines are a bit vague at present because the board first wants to finish the consultation process for F.H. Huffman School.
An Accommodation Review Committee is looking at a possible closure of that school and having it consolidate with Robert Moore.
A recommedation will be made to the board in June, following two more public consultations scheduled for Feb. 12 and April 8.
But in the meantime, McMaster explained they can begin the planning for a rebuild of Robert Moore, which they plan to go ahead with regardless of whether the board decides to close Huffman, which also has been deemed “prohibitive to repair.”
He indicated further into the spring, the board will ask for interested stakeholders (parents, teachers, and community members) to put their names forth to sit on a planning committee.
It will select an architect for the project and aid in the design of the new school.
If it is decided Huffman will consolidate with Robert Moore, parents from Huffman also will be invited to sit on the committee.
McMaster said the earliest possible date for opening the new school would be September, 2010.
“Thus, there is time to celebrate the years with Robert Moore School and energize over the planning of the new facility,” he remarked.
Those on hand asked questions and voiced some concerns they had. McMaster and board chairman Dan Belluz tried to answer the questions and stressed they appreciate the feedback.
“We plan to be transparent and to work with the public,” McMaster pledged. “I believe this is an exciting time and a good time for our town.”
Anyone with questions is encourage to contact the board office at 274-9855. Meeting minutes and answers to questions will be posted on its website at www.rrdsb.com