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Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs

January 29, 2009

Tender Awarded for New Francophone School

The Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, announced today that a contract has been awarded to Mista Shipu Construction Ltd., to begin construction of a Francophone school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to replace the current facility, �cole Bor�ale. The Provincial Government is investing $2.2 million in the project.

"We are pleased to move forward with this critical step in the development process for this new school," said Minister Burke. "Progress is being made in updating and improving school infrastructure across the province and I�m confident this new facility will serve the Francophone students and families of Happy Valley-Goose Bay well."

In addition to the $2.2 million allocated by the Provincial Government, $300,000 is being provided under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second Official Language Instruction for a pre-school facility to be located in the school. This will be dedicated space to offer early childhood learning for Francophone children.

"The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes the need to retain the French language in our multicultural province," said the Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Labrador Affairs. "Today�s announcement of a new school, with enhanced teaching and activity spaces, is especially welcome for students, teachers and parents involved in our Francophone program. Through the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador, the new Francophone school was highlighted as an important milestone in the expansion of educational facilities and we all look forward to its completion."

Over the coming months, materials will be moved on-site to ensure construction can begin as soon as weather permits. The new school will consist of three classrooms, one of which will have a moveable wall to create a multi-purpose room. The design for the new facility also includes a special needs suite, a resource centre, administrative area and staff lounge.

"This project has come to fruition as a result of the determination of a community to ensure that their children learn in an environment that is conducive to the development of their full potential," said the chair of the Francophone School Board, Dr. Ahmed Derradji-Aouat. "The principal, Ms. Marie-Jos�e Derouin, along with local trustees are to be commended for their dedication to making this project a reality. In addition, we recognize government�s commitment to the cause of French first-language education in Newfoundland and Labrador."

"There is a tremendous amount of work underway to provide students around the province with the best possible learning environments," said Minister Burke. "Since 2004, funding for school infrastructure has increased by 500 per cent, which includes substantial investments, not only for new school construction, but for major maintenance projects, extensions and renovations, which are critical for the proper upkeep of our school buildings. I would like to acknowledge the dedication and support of all our partners in education as we move through this period of new construction and repair, and I look forward to seeing the completion of these projects, including the new Francophone school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay."

It is anticipated the Francophone school will be completed in the fall of 2009, barring unforeseen delays in the construction industry.

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Media contacts:

Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
709-729-1674, 728-7762
Michel Genest
Director of Education
CSFP � School District #5

2009 01 29                                                    1:00 p.m.

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