Education Minister Ian Wishart told families in Niverville and Winkler Friday their new school should be open for students in September 2019.
Announced earlier this year, the two schools are the provincial government's first major education capital projects.
The province, Hanover School Division and Garden Valley School Division have issued a request for proposals from architectural consulting teams to finalize the design and tender for the two new schools.
"These new schools are priorities for our government based on the greatest need due to higher enrolment pressures two of Manitoba’s fastest-growing communities," Wishart said in a prepared statement. "We are working expeditiously to ensure there can be shovels in the ground in spring 2018 and students in the classroom in September 2019."
Winkler will get a new kindergarten to Grade 8 school for 675 students, with the capacity to expand to hold 875 students with the future construction of an eight-classroom addition. A new high school for 450 grade 9 to 12 students will be built in Niverville, with the capacity to expand to serve 550 students with the future construction of a four-classroom addition.
The school divisions have agreed to work with the Public Schools Finance Board on an expedited schedule that will enable project tendering in early 2018, Wishart said.
In Winkler, the new 84,000-square-foot elementary school will have kindergarten classrooms, regular classrooms, science labs and an art room, in addition to other specialized spaces such as a large library, gymnasium, computer room, resource teaching space, life-skills suite, multi-purpose room, band room, and home economics and industrial arts areas.
The new 66,700-sq.-ft. Niverville high school will have regular classrooms, science labs and an art room, plus other specialized spaces such as a large library, computer rooms, resource teaching and guidance areas, life-skills suite, multi-purpose room, band room, drama room, a large gymnasium and fitness room.
Daycare centres will be built into both schools, with spaces for 20 infants and 54 preschool children. The Winkler school will also feature a space to be used for nursery and before- and after-school programming.
Meanwhile, the province is determining if four other new schools can be built in Winnipeg, Brandon, Pembina Trails and Seven Oaks school divisions using public private partnerships.