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March 18, 2009

Minister Announces Tender Award for New Schools in Torbay and Paradise

Construction of two new schools announced for the province will swing into high gear with a tender award of $27.4 million. The Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, said today that the tender has been awarded to Marco Services Ltd., to begin construction of the new K-6 school for Torbay and the new K-6 school for Paradise.

�This is a significant investment which recognizes the growth of these communities and the needs identified by the Eastern School District in their long-term plan,� said Minister Burke. �There is a tremendous amount of work involved in getting to the stage of actual construction and I would like to acknowledge the input and work of the school community and school council, the school district and board trustees as well as the municipalities. These facilities promise to be a great addition to Torbay and Paradise and reflect government�s commitment to improving school infrastructure in communities around the province.�

A similar floor plan is being used for the design of both schools, providing an enhanced learning environment including a learning resource centre, a recycling room, a cafeteria and multi-purpose lunch room, a gymnasium with change rooms, two guidance suites, a special education suite and medical room.

As part of the school construction plans announced for Paradise, a $2 million renovation and extension is nearing completion at Holy Family Elementary. Four new classrooms are under construction as well as a new cafeteria. The classrooms should be ready by Easter, with the cafeteria following shortly. In addition, planning for a second K-6 school in Paradise is underway and it is anticipated that the project will go to tender in the near future.

"The awarding of these tenders is great news for the students, teachers and parents of Paradise and Torbay," said Milton Peach, Chair of the Eastern School Board. "We are all very anxious to see the start of construction on these two major projects and we are also pleased that the land acquisition process for the second Paradise school is nearing completion."

As part of the Williams Government�s $800 million infrastructure plan, $121.5 million is being allocated in 2009-10 for the K-12 system. In addition to the Torbay and Paradise schools, the Provincial Government has committed funding for new schools in Port Saunders, Placentia, Baie Verte, L�Anse au Loup, Port Hope Simpson, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, St. John�s and Carbonear.

�There have been many advancements made for students, teachers and staff in our K-12 system,� said Minister Burke. �This includes new curriculum and modern resources coupled with a priority on improving school infrastructure. We are making significant inroads in this area with the construction of new buildings such as in Torbay and Paradise and with various repair and maintenance projects across the province.�

It is expected that construction on both new facilities will begin shortly with an expected opening date of fall 2010.

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

2009 03 18                           9:40 a.m.

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