July 25, 2007

School Infrastructure Top Priority for Williams Government

From Hopedale to Witless Bay, and from Port aux Basques to Eastport, students and teachers in this province are seeing the results of approximately $111 million worth of new school construction, maintenance and repair projects since 2004. This unprecedented level of funding is part of the Williams Government commitment to the students of Newfoundland and Labrador and to their future success.

The Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, was at St. Peter�s Elementary in Upper Island Cove today to see how some of this funding is being spent. Approximately $195,000 of work got underway this week on a roof repair/replacement project on the school.

"New curriculum and modern resources are an important part of the learning process, but they must be coupled with buildings that are clean, safe and secure," said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education. "While we are in the process of addressing years of neglect, we also recognize that preventative measures will reduce the risk of problems developing in the future. There is construction and maintenance work happening all over the province that is greatly improving our school buildings for today and for the future."

Funding has been allocated for the construction of 11 new schools, as well as renovations and extensions to many existing buildings. There are also 200 roofing, siding, window and exterior maintenance projects either completed or underway, at a cost of approximately $25 million.

In addition, over $2.4 million has been approved for 25 fire and life safety projects, such as fire protection systems, fire rated corridors, and electrical upgrades. Approximately $2.6 million has been approved for 87 air quality projects such as air quality and hazardous material testing, remediation, carpet removal and ventilation. Minister Burke noted that an enhanced school inspection program is being developed and that the Department of Education is working with school boards and environmental health officers with the Department of Government Services to identify schools where inspections should be carried out.

"More than $24 million has been invested in projects involving the repair or replacement of roofing, siding, windows and brickwork since 2004. This year alone, 50 projects are being assessed. It is important parents understand the level of work that had been done � and continues to be done � to make our schools safe. St. Peter�s Elementary is just one example of the significant number of projects underway throughout the province," said Minister Burke.

Photo #1: Joan Burke, Minister of Education, is joined by George Adams, Mayor of Upper Island Cove, Eric A. Snow, trustee for the area of Bryant's Cove to Marysvale, Eastern School District and Alexandra Goff, Principal of St. Peter's Elementary.


Media contact:
Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624


The following is an overview of school capital construction projects since 2004:

Completed projects:

Leading Tickles Primary - new school ($1 million)
St. Bernard�s School, Witless Bay - extension/renovations ($2 million)
St. James Regional High, Port aux Basques - renovations/roof repairs ($1 million)
Corner Brook High (Regina Complex) - renovations/minor extension ($1.8 million)
E.A. Butler School, McKays - renovations ($558,000)
Holy Cross, Eastport - rebuild after fire
Carmanville School Complex � rebuild after fire
Hopedale School � rebuild after fire
Leary's Brook Junior High, St. John�s - extension/renovations ($1.5 million)
St. Andrew's Elementary, St. John�s � renovations ($756,000)
Botwood College - extension/renovations ($1.2 million)
Gander Collegiate � extension ($2.1 million)

Projects Under Construction:

Herdman Collegiate, Corner Brook � redevelopment ($18.1 million)
Mobile - new K-12 school ($9.3 million)
MSB Academy, Middle Arm - extension/renovations ($1.5 million)
Exploits Valley Intermediate, Grand Falls-Windsor - extension and renovations ($2.9 million)
Beachy Cove Elementary, Portugal Cove/St. Phillips � extension ($890,000)
Sheshatshiu - new K-12 school - Provincial contribution ($4 million)

Projects in the Early Development Stage:

L'Anse au Loup - new K-12 school ($800,000)
Holy Trinity Elementary, Torbay - new K-6 school ($1.1 million)
Baie Verte - new K-12 school ($1.2 million)
Placentia - new 7-12 school ($700,000)
Port Hope Simpson - new K-12 school ($650,000)
St. Anthony Elementary - redevelopment ($1.125 million)
Port Saunders - new K-12 School ($1.15 million)
Lester Pearson Memorial School, New-Wes-Valley - extension/ renovations ($100,000)
Happy Valley-Goose Bay - new francophone school ($650,000)

2007 07 25                                           12:00 noon


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