Sunday , January 17 2021

An elite private school has announced Annapolis County

Plans to build a 62-million elite privately owned royal boarding school in Annapolis County, NJ, were announced Saturday at Bridgetown, NJ.

This will be the Gordonstone school in Scotland. Famous graduates of the school are Prince Charles and his father, Prince Philip.

But on Sunday, the developer had little to suggest how the school would be funded. Also, Prime Minister Stephen McNeil said in an interview that the province has not made a financial commitment to the project.

"Gordonstone is one of, if not the premier, private school in the world," said John Ferguson of the CAO in Annapolis, the announcement said on Saturday.

Prince Charles, seen in Athens in May, went to Gordonstone. (Petros Yanancouris / Associated Press)

Historical connection

The exact location of the school, which will offer a grade 9-12 and costs about $ 67,000 a year, is yet to be determined, but Ferguson said it was reduced to three places between Annapolis Royal and Bridgetown. He said it was the first Gordonstone franchise,

Ferguson said there was a historic link between Annapolis County and Gordonstone. He said the land where the school in Scotland is located is owned by the Gordon clan.

Sir Robert Gordon was made a baronet for Nova Scotia in 1625, four years after Nova Scotia received its charter – the charter that is displayed at Annapolis Royal in Fort Anne, Ferguson said.

"[Gordon] received 16,000 acres of coastal land in Nova Scotia. So it's a historic connection to the property and that was one of the interesting pieces that gathered, "he said.

The school is expected to start in 2020 starting with 9th grade students. It will be built in stages to accommodate 600 students, most of whom are expected to come from Asia, Europe and North America, said Ferguson.

He said funding for the school came mainly from European investors.

Economic push

Ferguson said the school would give economic growth to the local area.

"The Gordonstone model is to buy local goods, tackle the local meat market, local produce, and try to provide so much of Gordonstone's needs for the local community," he said.

Tourism may have some advantages, Ferguson said. He said that many families with students in international schools would hire or buy housing in the area or would stay for long periods of time.

The developer says taxpayers are not in danger

CBC News contacted Edward Faren, a project developer, on Sunday to ask for project funding and his relationship with Gordonstoun School.

Farren refuses to provide details on how the school will be funded and will not talk about its relationship with the school. But he said taxpayers are not in danger.

In a Facebook video of the message, Farren, responding to a question from the audience, said he had spoken to the prime minister on political support for the project.

"It does not matter if you are on Amazon if you find that in Atlanta or Toronto, or any small or large business that wants to find in this county, they want to know they wanted it," he said in the video.

He said he told the prime minister that the project needed a letter to show the banks that he had support.

"For this letter, we will pay the province an economic return of 1.5% and US $ 7.2 million [guaranteed loan from the province], which gives the province $ 15,000 plus one year for a letter that we will just show to the banks, "Farren said in the video.

Prime Minister: "We do not make guarantees for a loan"

McNeill said on Sunday that the province was prompted for a school loan guarantee, but that is not a question.

"We do not make guarantees for a loan," McNeill said. "I was very right."

However, McNeil said the province is considering the Municipal Law Act to see whether it is possible for fiscally stable municipalities to take out loans from Nova Scotia Municipal Finance Corporation in order to invest in things they think are the best the interest they represent. "

He said that the discussions about the changes can not happen until the house is reunited in the spring.

General concept "awesome"

He said that about a year ago he was turned to the project and had the opportunity to visit Gordonstone on a trip to Scotland.

"The overall concept and the project is great," he said. "I think this is the right decision to build international students coming to Nova Scotia, these are important economic investments for the province."

McNeil said the project would be a "huge economic stimulus" for Annapolis County and could be a way to keep more international students for Nova Scotia universities.

During the public statement, attendees said that there are currently no provincial or municipal funds earmarked for the project.

None of Gordonstone was in the message, but Ferguson said the school staff were in Nova Scotia.

CBC News contacted school staff by email and phone on Saturday, but could not immediately be found for comment.

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