News / Halifax

'They're not safe:' Bedford parents say elementary portables look like they came from 'garbage dump'

Parents say the portables at Basinview show rot, caged windows, and shaky footings.

Trish Myer, her son Liam Myer (right) and his friend Quinn Lucier pose for a photo near one of the portable schoolhouses behind Basinview Elementary School in Bedford. Myer is concerned about the safety of the buildings

Zane Woodford/Metro

Trish Myer, her son Liam Myer (right) and his friend Quinn Lucier pose for a photo near one of the portable schoolhouses behind Basinview Elementary School in Bedford. Myer is concerned about the safety of the buildings

When Trish Myer showed her 10-year-old son where he will be attending school in the fall, he cried.

Two portable school rooms have been dropped off at Basinview Elementary School in Bedford in preparation for the upcoming school year, and their conditions are so poor that Myer said herself and other parents are "livid."

“It’s just very concerning; they look like they came out of a garbage dump,” Myer said in an interview.

Myer said the old wooden portables are rotting in various areas, metal caging covers the windows, and the exterior seems in dire need of a new paint job.

The footings of one of the portable schoolhouses behind Basinview Elementary School in Bedford, as seen on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.

Zane Woodford/Metro

The footings of one of the portable schoolhouses behind Basinview Elementary School in Bedford, as seen on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.

But despite the fact that the portables appear to be in extremely poor condition, Myer said herself and many parents from the school have reached out to the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) and been told the buildings have passed inspection and wouldn’t have been delivered if they weren’t safe for students. 

“The school board told us new stairs will cover up the rotting wood and it will get a paint job - but we don’t care how it looks, we want it to be safe and warm,” said Myer.

“My concern is, you can cover it up, but what is rotting is going to be rotting still inside.”

A close-up on one of the portables.

Contributed/Trish Myer

A close-up on one of the portables.

On Wednesday, Myer said one parent told her they witnessed one of the support beams beneath the portables collapse.

"If they're not safe for construction workers, they're not safe for kids," Myer said. 

Myer also worries about students with allergy problems being in the buildings for long periods of time, and that the structures won’t hold up to the winter’s cold.

“I don’t want my son sitting in class wearing his winter jacket,” she said.

One of the portables

Trish Myer

One of the portables

Dave Wright, HRSB chair, said Wednesday he is aware of the concerns parents have, but added he has not seen photos of the situation himself. 

"I just spoke to the superintendet and I was confirming that that isn’t the condition the students will be in - the portables were in storage, they were brought out of storage and put on site, and now they will be brought up to spec by the first day of school," said Wright.

Wright said that until HRSB can secure funding from the province for a new area school to manage the issues of overcrowding at Basinview, "Band-Aid" solutions will have to do.

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