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Released on October 22, 2013
Today, Premier Brad Wall joined Education Minister Don Morgan, students, teachers and school division administrators at Dundonald School in Saskatoon to announce that the Government of Saskatchewan will build nine new joint-use schools. These schools will be located in communities experiencing unprecedented growth including: Saskatoon, Regina, Warman and Martensville.
The government will construct these schools through a Public Private Partnership (P3). This model will enable the province to build more schools in less time than our typical funding and procurement approach would allow. The government will undergo due diligence to determine the best approach for moving forward and the school divisions will be very involved in this process.
“Saskatchewan is experiencing remarkable growth across the province, and some of it is right in the classroom,” Wall said. “We need to meet the challenges of growth and have adequate infrastructure in place. This approach will put our students first, provide them with the best learning environments, and do so much quicker than government could build schools the conventional way.”
Joint-use schools between Catholic and public school divisions offer options for shared programming opportunities for students, and shared maintenance costs between the divisions.
“Saskatoon Public Schools has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years,” Saskatoon Public School Division Board Chair Ray Morrison said. “With new neighbourhoods being built, we need to ensure we can provide the right facilities to support learning for our students. On behalf of our board, I want to extend my sincere thanks to the provincial government for responding to the needs of our students and families. By providing vibrant learning spaces for our students, we are fostering their potential and building stronger communities.”
“Our division has been growing on average the size of an elementary school each year for the past four years,” Regina Catholic School Division Board of Education Chair Vicky Bonnell said. “While this growth is welcome, it does strain our facilities. It is wonderful to see the provincial government actively addressing these pressures and the new schools announced today will go a long way in helping our division accommodate the city’s growth. While we are very appreciative of today’s announcement, we remain committed to advocating for the capital funding needs of our existing schools.”
The 2013 budget committed nearly $120 million to maintain existing schools, and responded to the need for additional space as a result of the increased enrolments throughout the province. The Ministry of Education has consulted with impacted school divisions to ensure they are aware of the highest infrastructure priorities concerning growth. These new schools are in response to the extraordinary growth pressures in newer areas and subdivisions.
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