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Parents want answers on new school plan

Now that the project agreements have finally been signed for two new schools - a replacement elementary and new middle school - parents are starting to ask questions.

Now that the project agreements have finally been signed for two new schools - a replacement elementary and new middle school - parents are starting to ask questions.

Parents at John Robson Elementary School have a number of concerns about the traffic around the replacement elementary school being built on the former Saint Mary's Hospital site.

Robson's parent advisory council sent a lengthy list of questions to project manager Jim Alkins. A number of the questions are related to environmental concerns, including whether there will be air-quality testing at the site, which is located beside busy Royal Avenue.

The Robson parent council met with Alkins at a meeting on Monday night. In anticipation of Monday's meeting at John Robson to discuss the new building on the former Saint Mary's site, the Robson parent council put together a list of questions they had for the district, said a letter from the Robson parent council.

They wanted to know how the district plans to offers students sufficient outside space.

"Will you explain to us how the new school's outdoor space will relate to the Ministry of Education's recommendations for open space?" the parent council letter states. "We understand that the school will not meet the standards."

The letter also stated that no new crosswalks or overpasses are included in the construction of the new school. They wanted to know if the construction team could makes changes to traffic patterns in the area.

"What kind of latitude will the design team be given for curb cuts, traffic pullouts, parking, etc.?" they asked.

They also asked if the new school design takes into consideration the City of New Westminster's plans to reroute Front Street traffic onto Royal Avenue. The parents also questioned the number of parking spaces and drop-off and pickup spaces at the new school.

The district plans to replace Robson with a new elementary school on the former Saint Mary's Hospital site, which it has purchased. The Robson site will eventually house a new middle school.

Trustee Michael Ewen told The Record that the district planned to answer Robson parents' questions

nhope@royalcityrecord.com

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