14 December 2023 – For Immediate Release
FREDERICTON, NB – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Bill Hogan to encourage the provincial government to choose the New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds as the site of the new middle school for Fredericton announced in November’s capital budget. 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, Minster Hogan noted that the government is “looking to see if there are ways to build the schools faster”. The next and crucial step in this process then, is choosing the right site for the George Street Middle School replacement.
To this end, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce supports the existing plans for the New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Site Development that contemplates the inclusion of a new school. 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.’
“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 to complement and support existing growth plan,” said Morgan Peters, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce CEO. “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 this new middle school will be the kickstart to the NBEX Development Plan.”
The New Brunswick Exhibition Grounds Site Development plan was established by the NBEX and City of Fredericton after extensive community engagement 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. All three distinct Scenario Development Plans created, included space allocated for a potential new school, with Scenario A specifically identifying a “New Middle School: Urban-format school”.
“We are excited to see the fulfillment of the NBEX site development and a new middle school as envisioned by the plan. This is a perfect infrastructure project to move the plan from the agreement stage to fulfillment,” added Peters. “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’ as well as a potential fieldhouse that would benefit both students and the community.”
These established plans provide this new school project the opportunity to fulfil numerous existing and obvious needs within the urban core within a timely manner, which in turn will allow Fredericton to attract and retain more families and businesses alike.
The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, a nationally accredited organization with more than 1,000 members, is an active business organization engaged in policy development and advocacy that affects the competitiveness of our members and the Canadian business environment. The Chamber’s vision is ‘Stronger Community Through Business Prosperity.’
Contact: Morgan Peters, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce – (506) 451-9742; email@example.com.