Plans to build a $ 62 million elite private boarding school with a royal connection in Annapolis County, N.S., were announced Saturday in Bridgetown, N.S.
It will be a franchise of the Gordonstoun School in Scotland. Notable school students include Prince Charles and his father, Prince Philip.
But on Sunday, the developer had little to offer on how the school will be funded. In addition, Premier Stephen McNeil said in an interview that the province has made no financial commitment to the project.
"Gordonstoun is one of the private schools, if not the premiere, of the world," John Ferguson, president of the Annapolis School of Business, said in a statement on Saturday.
The exact location of the school, which will offer grade 9-12 and cost about $ 67,000 per year in classes, has yet to be determined, but Ferguson said it was reduced to three locations between Annapolis Royal and Bridgetown. He said that it is Gordonstoun's first franchise.
Ferguson said there is a historic connection between Annapolis County and Gordonstoun. He said that the land where the school is located in Scotland was owned by the Gordon clan.
Sir Robert Gordon was made a baronet to Nova Scotia in 1625, four years after Nova Scotia received his letter – a letter which is on display at Annapolis Royal in Fort Anne, Ferguson said.
"[Gordon] received 16,000 acres of land ashore in Nova Scotia. So it's a historical connection on the property and this was one of the interesting pieces that came together, "he said.
The school should open in 2020, beginning with 9th grade students. It will be built in phases to accommodate 600 students, most of whom must come from Asia, Europe and North America, Ferguson said.
He said financing for the school comes mainly from European investors.
Ferguson said the school will give an economic boost to the local area.
"Gordonstoun's model is to buy local, deal with the local meat market, the local production area and try to meet the Gordonstoun needs of the local community," he said.
There may be some benefits of tourism, Ferguson said. He said many families with students in international schools will rent or buy houses in the area or stay for long periods of time.
Developer says taxpayers are not in danger
CBC News contacted Edward Farren, the developer of the project, on Sunday to ask about funding the project and its connection to the Gordonstoun School.
Farren declined to provide details on how the school would be funded and would not talk about his connection to the school. But he said taxpayers are not in danger.
In a Facebook video of the ad, Farren, responding to a question from the public, said he talked to the premier about political support for the project.
"It does not matter if you're locating Amazon, whether it's in Atlanta or Toronto, or some small or large company that wants to locate in this county, they want to know they're wanted. Most ask for money up front," Farren said. said in the video.
He said he told the premier that the bill needs a letter to show the banks that there is support.
"For this letter, we will pay the province an economic return of 1.5%, and at US $ 7.2 million [guaranteed loan from the province]That gives the province $ 15,000 plus a year for a letter that we're going to show the banks, "Farren said in the video.
Premier: "We do not make loan guarantees"
McNeil said Sunday that the province was approached about a loan guarantee for the school's development, but it is out of the question.
"We do not make loan guarantees," McNeil said. "I was very direct."
But McNeil said the province is scrutinizing the Municipal Government Act to see if it is possible for fiscally stable municipalities to borrow money from the Nova Scotia Municipal Finance Corporation "to be able to invest in things they believe are in the best interests of people". they represent. "
He said that discussions about changes can not happen until the house meets in the spring.
General concept is a big one –
He said he was approached about the project about a year ago and had the opportunity to visit Gordonstoun on a trip to Scotland.
"The overall concept and design is great," he said. "I believe it is the right way to build international students coming to Nova Scotia. These are important economic investments for the province."
McNeil said the bill would be "a tremendous economic boost" for Annapolis County and could be a way to keep more international students to the universities of Nova Scotia.
In the public announcement, those present were informed that there is currently no provincial or municipal money committed to the project.
No one from Gordonstoun was in the ad, but Ferguson said the school staff were in Nova Scotia.
CBC News contacted school staff via e-mail and telephone on Saturday, but they could not be reached immediately for comment.