Planning process on track for school additions
Investing in infrastructure -
Educators, parents, and transportation officials are meeting with architects to shape the design of additions to Stratford and L.M. Montgomery elementary schools.
Funding is included in government’s five-year capital plan to address overcrowding at Stratford and L.M. Montgomery – as well as Glen Stewart Elementary -- by adding additional classroom space. The decision to expand the schools is based on current needs, public input to the School Review, and recommendations of the Public Schools Branch board of directors.
“We are pleased to see the design coming together and the time lines being met for these priority projects,” Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown said. “Along with recent rezoning efforts, the new additions will address overcrowding issues at these schools and provide room for future growth in these communities, which are seeing significant population growth and increased residential development.”
The provincial government is taking an aggressive approach to planning so that construction can begin in early spring, and the schools will be ready for students in September 2019.
Chandler Architecture Inc. was selected to design the additions following an RFP process. The lead architects are Bill Chandler for Stratford Elementary and Darrin Dunsford for L.M. Montgomery. Both have experience in designing Island school construction projects.
The $6.6 million Stratford school addition will include 14 classrooms that will be used by students who will transfer over from Glen Stewart Elementary, provide room for future growth, and allow specialty teaching areas to be used for their intended purpose. It includes:
- a large activity room, which will be half the size of a school gym and available for community use; and
- new specialty teaching areas such as new EAL, guidance and resource rooms, teacher planning centres, student breakout rooms, washrooms and storage areas.
The $5.3 million L.M. Montgomery project includes the addition of 10 classrooms. With the removal of two mobile classrooms, there will be a net gain of eight classrooms and room for growth of 160 students.
The new wing will also include:
- a large activity room;
- new teacher planning centre;
- breakout meeting rooms;
- new lockers;
- ventilation upgrades;
- a new gym floor;
- custodial space;
- roof repairs;
- reinforced sound systems for assistive hearing; and
- extension of the soccer field and parking area.
Additions to both schools will have spacious classrooms which will be designed to accommodate new teaching methods and the use of technology.
The construction planning committees include the architect, school principals, parents, and representatives of the Public Schools Branch and education and transportation departments.
“We appreciate the significant work being done by all partners to create the design and keep the projects on track,” said Minister Brown. “It is important to have input from the users of the school because they can identify how the space can be configured to deliver today’s curriculum and support the everyday needs of students, parents and school staff.”
The basic design is expected to be finalized over the next few weeks, allowing for tenders to be issued and for construction to begin in early spring. The detailed design will continue to be developed over the next several months.
Other additions in progress
Planning has also begun for the $5 million expansion of Ecole-sur-Mer, which will enable the French Language School Board to offer high school programming at the school. The planning committee includes school staff, parents, the French Language School Board, Centre Belle-Alliance, community representatives, education and transportation officials. The committee has met once and has begun to identify curriculum and space needs.
Other current school construction projects include a $9.2 million dollar renovation of Ecole La-Belle-Cloche in Rollo Bay which is expected to open this winter, and a $22 million renovation underway at Three Oaks Senior High.
Funding is also allocated in the Education, Early Learning and Culture five-year capital plan for a $4.8 million expansion of West Royalty Elementary, and a $19 million replacement of Sherwood Elementary.