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News Release - Manitoba

April 4, 2011

New Schools, Innovative Gym Program Part of Largest School Capital Budget in Manitoba History: Selinger

$94.2-million Budget in 2011; $19.2 Million Added to Guaranteed Four-year Funding Announced in 2009

Premier Greg Selinger today announced a $94.2-million investment in public school capital projects to address priorities such as planning new schools, and building gymnasiums and child-care facilities.  The premier noted an additional $19.2 million has been added to the $75 million guaranteed funding announced in a multi-year capital plan in 2009.

“We are investing in schools to ensure our kids get the quality education they need to succeed,” Selinger said.  “Strengthening our commitment to physical infrastructure is part of our long-term plan to support early-learning and student success.”

Responding to enrolment growth in northwest Winnipeg, the province will build a new early-learning to Grade 8 elementary school in Amber Trails in the Seven Oaks School Division, the premier said.

“Our population is growing and we all know the positive effects it has on our economy and communities.  We will continue working to ensure all Manitobans can get the skills they need to succeed.”

The new school, targeted to open September 2013, will be the first of a series of elementary schools with daycares planned for Winnipeg in the coming years.  The Public Schools Finance Board and Seven Oaks School Division will continue to monitor enrolment to determine the need for new school facilities in the Riverbend area of the school division.

A new elementary school is also being planned in Sage Creek with pre-design planning to begin in
2011-12, Selinger said.  This development will begin with a stand-alone child-care facility as part of a new initiative to build more child-care facilities on school division property, he added.  Early acquisition of a school site will allow for future integration of the child-care facility into an elementary school.

“We want to build an education system that is as seamless as possible, from early learning all the way to post-secondary education and careers,” said Selinger.  “We’ve proposed amendments to our Preparing Students for Success Act which would require early-learning or child-care facilities to be included in all new schools and in major renovations.”

Work continues on the design and construction of middle schools in La Broquerie, Schanzenfeld and Steinbach, high-school projects in Winkler and Steinbach, and the replacement of Woodlands School with a new green school facility using sustainable building materials and methods.

“Our success as a province depends on thriving schools in every corner of Manitoba,” said Selinger.

The premier also announced the beginning of the Active Schools Fund, a new, multi-year gymnasium construction and renewal program.  Beginning in 2011-12, there will be a five-year, $50-million program for Manitoba public schools, which will ensure high-quality gymnasium facilities are available to provide the required instructional facilities for healthy living and high-school graduation.

“Our aim is to make Manitoba a leader in education.  We want healthy, active and successful children,” said Selinger.  “This program builds on the very successful implementation of mandatory physical education in Manitoba high schools introduced in 2008 as a result of recommendations from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Task Force.”

Since 1999, the school capital construction program has seen the construction of 27 new gyms and five gym additions. 

“We’ve invested more than $737 million in public school capital projects,” the premier said.  “Together, we have built 18 new schools and 13 replacement schools and completed extensive renovations and additions to existing schools.”

Additional projects include:

  • An additional $20 million over two years at existing schools for air-quality, mechanical systems, roofing, structural and building-envelope renewal.  This expands the number of priority infrastructure renewal projects planned for Manitoba schools in 2011-12 to 107 from 67.
  • Up to $100,000 per new school construction project to support the greening of outdoor school spaces so they are both environmentally friendly and can be used as outdoor learning spaces.
  • Provincewide funding of $3 million for projects to improve accessibility for students with disabilities.

“We will be working very closely with all school divisions to assess the future need for schools in those communities,” the premier concluded.

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