Manitoba government pledges funding for new schools; including two in Brandon

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The Manitoba government is investing an additional $50 million in school capital funding above the Budget 2020 commitment of $160 million for total funding of $210 million in kindergarten to Grade 12 school capital projects across the province, Education Minister Cliff Cullen and Central Services Minister Reg Helwer announced today.

“Manitoba’s ongoing investment in school infrastructure must continue during the COVID-19 pandemic for the longevity of our schools and to improve accessibility for all students, while maintaining safe and secure school environments for quality education and to support our government’s pledge to protect Manitobans,” said Cullen. “These projects will provide structural repairs, roof replacements, new mechanical systems and accessibility upgrades in kindergarten to Grade 12 schools throughout the province, while also furthering our 20 New Schools Guarantee.”
 
This includes over $76 million in continuing investment in multi-year projects that are already underway and over $61 million for major capital projects.

The province has set aside more than $24 million for seven land acquisition projects for future school sites including two projects in the Brandon School Division. The Brandon projects include a future kindergarten to Grade 8 school and a Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM) kindergarten to Grade 12 school.  Other projects include:
• a future kindergarten to Grade 8 school in the Sage Creek neighbourhood of Louis Riel School Division;
• a future kindergarten to Grade 8 school site in the Devonsire Park area of the River East Transcona School Division;
• a future kindergarten to Grade 8 school in the West St. Paul area of the Seven Oaks School Division and a second future kindergarten to Grade 8 project in Precinct G; and
• a future kindergarten to Grade 8 school in the Waverley West–Bridgwater Lakes area of the Pembina Trails School Division.

Other investments will include:
• $10 million for access projects such as elevators, wheel chair lifts and grooming room improvements for students that require additional support;
• $21 million for mechanical systems such as boilers and ventilation systems;
• $16 million for roof replacements; 
• $16 million for structural project such as foundations, walls and historic entrance stonework; and
• $8 million for bulk builds of new modular classrooms to be ready when needed.
 
“It is important for government to maintain and improve school buildings in a timely and cost-effective way to best fulfil the needs of students and teachers,” said Helwer. “These are substantial capital projects requiring careful planning, design, procurement and the management of construction contracts.”

Projects are planned to be completed within a timeframe of six to 24 months following the award of tenders and start of construction, Helwer said, adding that at this time, the province is on track to fulfil its 20 New Schools Guarantee. Six schools are open and in use, two are going to tender in the spring of this year and four will start design in 2021-22.

The remaining eight are expected to be designed and completed ahead of the original 10-year commitment, he added.

The province has completed a number of new schools since September 2020 including:
• Ecolé Templeton School in Seven Oaks School Division – kindergarten to Grade 5 for 450 students, with 114 licensed child-care spaces including school-age spaces;
• East Elmwood Concordia in DSFM kindergarten and Grade 1 (initial enrolment) with a small child-care area. The school will be expanded to 350 students when King’s School is relocated and the division takes over the full building in 2022. The child-care opened with 31 licensed spaces including school-age spaces;
• Waterford Springs School in Winnipeg School Division – kindergarten to Grade 8 for 600 students, with 74 child-care spaces; and
• Maryland Park School in Brandon School Division – kindergarten to Grade 8 for 450 students and 112 licensed child-care spaces.

“Our government is committed to continuing to deliver on our 20 New Schools Guarantee, and these new school sites, alongside the schools now completed for neighbourhoods in Brandon and Winnipeg, demonstrate that we know how critical these schools are to local communities,” said Cullen.