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June 1, 2009

Construction Set to Begin on Second Paradise School

Site development will start shortly on Paradise�s second new elementary school. The tender, valued at $12.7 million, has been awarded to Olympic Construction and is part of an overall investment by the Williams Government of approximately $32 million in school infrastructure for Paradise and surrounding communities. These investments are reflective of infrastructure goals outlined in Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation, which committed $121.5 million to school construction and major maintenance and repair projects.

"We�ve been moving very quickly with our school construction projects for the Paradise area," said The Honourable Darin King. "Government recognizes this is a growth area of the province and we are pleased to make these substantial investments to meet the needs of the young families who are calling Paradise home. These projects are also indicative of the magnitude of school construction plans and maintenance and repair work underway throughout the province."

The new school will be located on Ellesmere Avenue in Elizabeth Park. Though designed for 525 students, it will be built so that it can be expanded to accommodate 700 students when and if the need arises.

"Today's announcement is welcome news for parents and students in Paradise," says Milton Peach, Chair of the Eastern School Board. "Our board recognized the urgent need for new elementary schools in this community and we are delighted that government is making these new school construction projects a high priority. We look forward to filling the desks and classrooms of these new schools with happy, smiling children."

"Our children are without a doubt our most valuable resource," said Minister Dianne Whalen, MHA for Conception Bay East-Bell Island. "This new school will provide the necessary environment for effective learning and development of children within my district. I am delighted construction will soon begin."

This is the second major tender award for the Paradise area in recent months. This past March the tender was awarded for the construction of the new school to replace Paradise Elementary. Minister King was also pleased to report today that site work has begun on that project.

"I am extremely pleased to see that the tender has been awarded for the construction of the second new elementary school to be located in the Town of Paradise," said Beth Marshall, MHA for Topsail. "Students from my district who live within this catchment area will be provided with a very modern facility where students and teachers will have a new learning environment with the latest technology. Today�s announcement again recognizes the commitment by this government to continue to invest in the education of our youth in the province. I would like to acknowledge Minister King, the Eastern School District, the mayor of Paradise, the school council and the entire school community for their support of this project."

The new school will include 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.

"I am thrilled the plans are quickly moving forward for the new elementary school which is great news for the young families I represent in Elizabeth Park," said Steve Kent, MHA for Mount Pearl North. "I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Department of Education, Eastern School District, the school council, the town council, and my fellow MHAs in working together to move this project forward."

The construction of two new elementary schools is in addition to an extension and renovation to Holy Family Elementary which is expected to be completed next month. It is anticipated that both new schools will be ready for students in the fall, 2010.

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Media contacts:

Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 689-2624
Donna Ivey
Communications Manager
Government Members Office
709-729-08998, 697-1424

2009 06 01                                                   10:55 a.m.

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