May 9, 2001
The following statement was issued today by Judy Foote, Minister of Education. It was also read in the House of Assembly:
School construction and renovations
I rise today to inform my honourable colleagues of how this government will continue to invest in the students of this province by ensuring they are provided with state-of-the-art school facilities, equipped with the most modern teaching and learning aids available.
Education reform was not just about streamlining the governance and organization of the K-12 school system. It was also about providing our children with modern school facilities to give them access to the wide variety of programs and services necessary to prepare them to live and work in a global society.
Since 1997, this government has invested $160 million to construct new schools, redevelop older buildings and upgrade many other facilities. This represents the largest investment in educational facilities in the province�s history. Over the last three years, we have undertaken 25 major construction projects, 13 of which have already been completed.
Students in Blaketown, Buchans, Clarenville, Hopedale, Nain, Norman Bay, Pollard�s Point and Rigolet are attending new state-of-the-art schools.
Construction is under way or is about to start on new schools in Arnold�s Cove, Burgeo, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Lethbridge, New Perlican, New World Island, Plum Point, Pouch Cove and Roddickton.
Students in Bay Roberts, Carbonear, Forteau, Gambo, Lourdes, Piccadilly, St. Georges, St. Mary�s, St. Brides, metro St. John�s, Upper Ferry and Wesleyville are attending schools which have been redeveloped. In addition, a major redevelopment is under way at St. Thomas of Villa Nova in Manuels.
In this year�s budget, government continued its commitment to providing students with the most modern school facilities possible with an additional 23 million-dollar capital construction program.
This new allocation will provide for new schools at L�Anse au Loup, Lawn, Mud Lake and Postville and redevelopment of schools at Burnt Islands, St. Brides and Winterton. Within the next few weeks several other major capital projects will be announced.
Whether we construct a new school or redevelop or upgrade an existing facility, each of these projects results in a wheelchair accessible facility in which:
Regardless of where they live and attend school, all students must have access to clean, modern schools. We will continue to respond to needs identified by school boards to make this happen.
In recent years we have become more aware of the need to perform preventative maintenance on our school buildings. It is critical that our buildings are maintained to ensure they can continue to be used for their expected life-span. The greatest threat to the life-span of a building is the infiltration of water. While school districts will continue to be responsible for minor maintenance and repairs, government will provide funding for major preventative maintenance. To this end, we have provided $12 million over four fiscal years for such projects. To date, tenders have been called for 38 projects and an additional 12 will be tendered shortly. In addition, funding will be provided to repair or replace windows and siding. This extensive preventative maintenance program will ensure our buildings can be used well into the future.
Government�s investment in school construction, renovations and air-quality concerns speaks for itself. We remain committed to providing teachers and students with comfortable, safe and modern schools in which to work and learn
2001 05 09 2:30 p.m.