December 21, 2001


Minister reconfirms commitment to construct a new school in L'Anse au Loup

Education Minister Judy Foote today confirmed the Department of Education's commitment to construct a new state-of the-art K-6 school in L'Anse au Loup. This new facility, designed to accommodate 55 students, will include a gymnasium, stage, special education room, challenging needs room, resource centre, guidance/itinerant area multi-purpose room, lunch room, and administrative offices.

In response to public comments made by Travis Gillard, chair of the Northern Peninsula/Labrador South school board, that the size of the gymnasium and total classroom size will not allow for the board's long-term plan to expand the school to a K-12 facility in the future, Minister Foote assures that this K-6 facility will be designed to allow for the addition of more classrooms, should enrolments increase. 

"The Department of Education has agreed to expand the L'Anse au Loup school if numbers warrant," said Minister Foote. "The design will be based on a projected enrolment of 55 students. In three years, the enrolment for this school is expected to decline to 50 students."

The gymnasium in the L'Anse au Loup K-6 school will be larger than the gymnasium in the Basque Memorial school in Red Bay, designed for 68 K-12 students. It will also be larger than the recently completed Victoria All-grade school in Gaultois, designed for 65 K-12 students.

"The Department of Education has continued to support the long term capital plans of the Northern Peninsula/Labrador South school board. Since school boards were consolidated, approximately $13 million has been provided to construct new schools and improve existing facilities in this school district. 

"Three years ago, this school board decided to consolidate services in the L'Anse au Clair, Forteau, L'Anse au Loup area. In support of this, government provided in excess of one half million dollars to upgrade and extend Mountain Feild Academy. Now the board has decided it wants to move grades 7-12 from Mountain Feild Academy to a new school in L'Anse au Loup. Given the recent improvements to Mountain Feild and the expectation of declining enrolment in this area, it would be irresponsible for the government to construct a second K-12 school. 

"I am confident that the new school planned for L'Anse au Loup will more than adequately meet the needs of this community," said Minister Foote.

Media contact: Gay Decker, Communications, (709) 729-0048.

2001 12 21                     4:45 p.m.

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