Kentville and area students are a step closer to a new, state-of-the-art school, thanks to a $16 million investment by the province. Labour and Workforce Development Minister Mark Parent joined Annapolis Valley Regional School Board officials, municipal officials, students and others to turn the first sod today, April 24, for a new Primary to Grade 8 school to replace Kings County Academy. “This new school will play an important role in preparing the young people of Kentville and area for lifelong learning,” said Mr. Parent, who attended the event on behalf of Education Minister Judy Streatch. “One of our government’s priorities is to educate our young people to compete in a global economy and be the leaders of tomorrow. This new school will be a vital part in providing our young people with the knowledge and skills to do so.” The 570-student school is expected to open in January 2011. It will be next to the Valley Sports and Events Centre on Park Street. The project was originally planned as a three-year renovation to Kings County Academy, but analysis determined that a new school would be a better investment. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will oversee the design and construction of the school, which is expected to start this summer.