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The meeting on Wednesday night (Sept 18) to decide on the future of the two Cobourg high schools was poorly attended so only a couple dozen people witnessed the vote on the recommendation to the School Board. As expected, option three was chosen: CDCI West and CDCI East will be combined into a new school that has a new name, new colours, a new mascot, new team names and a new cohesive culture, with improved programming and facilities.

It will have one principal, two vice-principals, one librarian and slightly reduced secretarial and custodial staffs. Teacher numbers depend on the student population.

The new consolidated school will be located at the CDCI East site but, for planning purposes, the site is referred to as the east campus and not CDCI East.

As reported by Cecilia Naismith at Northumberland Today, a large number of recommendations were also made.

These included:

  • Refurbish the East site
  • Students entering Grade 9 in 2014 will all go to the east campus. By September 2015, all remaining students at CDCI West will transfer to the east campus.
  • Establish a committee to come up with a new name for the consolidated school, and to celebrate the heritage of both schools.
  • Update five science labs.
  • Update the library.
  • Update the track and field.
  • Update automotive and technology shops.
  • Implement a Mac Lab.
  • Build a state-of-the-art theatre which can be made available for community use, and which can also double as classroom space.
  • Upgrade busing and parking to accommodate increased student numbers.
  • Sell the CDCI West building, the West sports field and a reserved secondary-school site in the town's west end, and apply proceeds to help offset costs.

Cecilia reported that the board will make a decision at its Nov. 28 meeting.

Let's hope the sale of the West building and land is not handled like the sale of the Gilbard school.  When that happened, the school board pre-empted a group trying to buy it to use for an Arts Community centre and created a lot of ill-will in the town.  Before the West site is sold, there should be a hold on the sale and extensive consultations with the town and any group that might express an interest.  After all, it's prime land and although it's worth a lot of money to the School board, it does matter who it's sold to.

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