A replacement school in Woodlands, a new autobody and welding shop in Morris and a new heavy-duty equipment mechanics shop in Swan Valley are among the major projects included in years two of Manitoba’s record four-year, $310-million, public-schools capital plan to strengthen student health and safety, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“These investments ensure our schools remain safe and healthy environments for our children to learn in while we continue to support school divisions with stable long-term funding for capital projects,” Allan said. “Our education investments grow the economy and create jobs right now when they are needed, while at the same time continuing to invest in services such as education and training to position Manitoba for long-term growth and prosperity.”
Year two of the four-year public-schools capital plan will invest $75 million in infrastructure and major capital funding. The investment is expected to create 860 direct and spinoff jobs as well as create an additional $57 million in additional spinoff economic activity, according to estimates by the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics.
In addition to continued investments in the design and construction of middle schools in La Broquerie, Schanzenfeld and Steinbach and new high-school projects in Winkler and Steinbach, the province is announcing new capital projects to:
· Replace the aging Woodlands School in the Interlake School Division with a new green school facility using sustainable building materials and methods. The new school project is registered with the Canadian Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and construction is expected to begin in early 2011 with completion targeted for September 2012.
· Replace aging shop facilities in the Red River Valley School Division with a new welding and autobody shop at Morris Collegiate to support local and regional technical-vocational education programs at part of the Red River Valley Technical Vocational Association.
· Build a new heavy-duty equipment-training mechanic shop for the Swan Valley Regional Secondary School. The new facility will be specifically designed for delivery of technical-vocational programs, which will help the province meet major labour force needs in the areas of skilled trades and technology and will be built to complement new facility developments currently underway with the University College of the North on the school’s campus.
In addition to the three new priority capital projects, the Manitoba government is continuing to invest in revitalizing and renewing public school infrastructure with projects that include:
· $9 million for roofing projects at 24 schools;
· $9 million for structural renewal projects at six schools;
· $10 million for emergency replacement of heating and ventilation systems in six schools across the province including boilers, heat-distribution and air-handling systems;
· $3 million for eight access projects at seven schools; and
· $3 million in additional resources for emerging infrastructure renewal priorities.
In the coming year the Public Schools Finance Board will continue to closely monitor demographic and enrolment trends while planning with school divisions for the future school needs of growing residential developments, said the minister.
A number of school capital projects have been completed in the past year including major renovation projects at Gimli High School and Dr. George Johnson Middle School and an addition to the Island Lakes School. Work is also beginning on a new addition to the Reston Collegiate and this coming year will see the completion of the new École Aurele Lemoine in St. Laurent and major renovations at Sargent Park School.
The minister noted the Manitoba government has invested more than $643 million in public school capital projects over the past 11 years. In that time, Manitoba has built 17 new schools including the two middle schools currently being designed for Steinbach and Schanzenfeld, 12 replacement schools and more than 74 addition and renovation projects.