Students and families like LeeAnn Varga’s in Bible Hill will soon have a new school that can deliver more programs to help students succeed and also give the community a modern gathering place. Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, Nov. 19, the province will build a new elementary school for Bible Hill as part of its capital plan. “This modern, well-equipped school will not only enhance student learning but will help keep the community of Bible Hill healthy and vibrant,” said Premier Dexter. “We are making smart, strategic investments to meet the needs of Nova Scotians while spurring economic growth and creating good jobs.” Ms. Varga’s daughter is in Grade 3 at Bible Hill Central Elementary School. An older daughter also went to the school. “The school is the centre of almost everything we do in Bible Hill — it’s a gathering place for parents and students,” said Ms. Varga. “Our existing school is at the end of its life. A new facility will be great for the community and a great place to learn.” The new Primary-to-Grade 4 facility will replace Bible Hill East Court Road and Bible Hill Central elementary schools, both of which are more than 60 years. The new school’s features will include a raised classroom that can be used as a stage, a cafeteria and kitchen, accessible washrooms and a seminar room. “Schools play a vital role in educating our children, but they are also important in bringing families and community members together for various events, especially in a small, close-knit community like Bible Hill,” said Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of Education Minister Ramona Jennex. “I know this first-hand because I attended Bible Hill Central Elementary myself. “Consolidating the two old elementary school buildings into one new facility will mean students and teachers can enjoy a safe, comfortable learning environment while, at the same time, providing a modern centre for the community to use after hours. And the new stage area will be a welcome component as well.” The new school will allow staff to deliver programs not possible in the current schools, such as a learning centre and sensory room for students with special needs. “We are extremely pleased with today’s announcement,” said Trudy Thompson, chair of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. “Both Bible Hill Central and East Court Road have served generations of students, but it is time for students and this community to have a new school that better meets today’s needs. The board is grateful to the School Study Committee that worked so hard to help bring this day to fruition.” The 270-student school is expected to open in 2014. The school is expected to cost about $11 million, with final costs to be determined after design work is complete. This is the third straight year the province will release the capital plan before the spring budget. This sends a clear signal of what the province intends to do in the year ahead, and gives the private sector greater opportunity to prepare for projects, creating efficiencies and cost savings for the province.