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14 December 2023

Hon. Bill Hogan, Minister

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Place 2000

P. O. Box 6000

Fredericton, NB

E3B 5H1

Re: New Middle School Location for Fredericton

Dear Minister Hogan,

On November 28th, 2023, the Government of New Brunswick tabled a $1.2-billion capital budget. Within this, $184.4 million was allocated to be invested in the infrastructure of public schools.[1] Following this announcement, you confirmed that a new Fredericton school will be a replacement for the aging George Street Middle School located in the downtown core.[2] Due to the rapid enrolment of 7,200 students in the province in just two years, with another 6,000 students forecasted within four years, you also noted that the government is looking at options to build the schools faster. The very next and crucial step in this process then, is choosing the right site for the George Street Middle School replacement.[3]

George Street Middle School has served thousands of children over the course of its existence, and we are excited to see what it becomes in its next life – but now, our growing community requires a modern state-of-the-art school to meet the needs of this area, to complement and support existing growth plans. As our population continues to grow, densification becomes increasingly important and indeed, more and more people want to be located within the city centre area. Because of this growth and the need to get this big decision right, the current planning process alluded to by Minister Hogan is of essential interest to our chamber, and we hope that a model of the necessary size and a location within the same catchment area can be finalized in short time.

To this end, we support the existing plans for the New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Site Development.[4] Conducted and published through the partnership between the New Brunswick Exhibition and City of Fredericton, the stated purpose of the site development plan was to “reimagine the exhibition grounds into a redevelopment that is future-focused, attainable, and respectful of the site’s almost 150-year agricultural legacy and location on Wolastoqiyik traditional territory.”

The research and engagement of this document was extensive and inclusive as carried out through two main phases in 2020 and 2021. This process utilized online public surveys, and stakeholder workshops to engage with representatives of community organizations, local businesses, and developers. It should be noted that of the three distinct Scenario Development Plans created, all three included spaces allocated for a potential new school, with Scenario A specifically identifying a “New Middle School: Urban-format school”.

As the creation of partnerships and utilization of synergies is also in our community’s shared interest, section 2.3.6 of the Site Development Plan includes this potential via “a joint-use fieldhouse through partnership between Fredericton Exhibition Limited and the City or another partner.” Similar to the Nashwaaksis Fieldhouse, this facility could engage in partnerships with the new middle school to allow “a certain portion to be used as the school’s core gymnasium during the school year and then open to community and Fredericton Exhibition Limited use during the summer months”.[5]

This opportunity to develop new synergies for students and citizens alike is highly beneficial in our opinion. As stated specifically in the development plan, a new school built on this site would be a dynamic component in creating “a complete and walkable community” which allows for “synergies with surrounding open spaces, potential recreation facilities, and Fredericton Exhibition Limited’s unique agricultural, recreational and community programming.”[6] These established plans provide this new school project the opportunity to fulfil numerous existing and obvious needs within the urban core, which in turn will allow Fredericton to attract and retain more families and businesses alike.

Kudos to the New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Board of Directors and City of Fredericton for collaborating on this site development plan and we are excited to see the first signs of the plan coming to fruition soon. We hope that your department will help facilitate the plan by choosing the NBEX as the future site of this middle school. This decision will provide serviceable walkability, transportation, and cooperative recreational opportunities within this rapidly growing population base. Thanks to the existing development plans anticipating these very requirements, we fully support the New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Development Site as the location of the newly announced middle school in Fredericton.


Morgan Peters, CEO   

Fredericton Chamber of Commerce

cc: Kate Rogers, Mayor, City of Fredericton

cc: Jeff McCarthy, Executive Director, New Brunswick Exhibition


[2] “Province announces six new school projects in capital budget”, CBC News, Jacques Poitras, (Nov. 28, 2023) accessed December 7, 2023,

[3]“George Street Middle School replacement ‘long overdue,’ says committee vice-chair”, CBC News, Hannah Rudderham, (Dec. 1, 2023) accessed Dec. 7, 2023,

[4]“New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds, Site Development Plan Overview”, March 2021, accessed on December 8, 2023,

[5] “New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds, Site Development Plan,” April 2021, accessed on December 8, 2023, , 23-24.

[6] ibid, 24.

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