Residents of one of southeast Winnipeg’s fastest growing neighbourhoods can expect a new school in the area within three years.
The provincial government and Louis Riel School Division recently announced a new early learning to Grade 8 school will built in Sage Creek on a 6.44-acre site at the corner of Sage Creek Boulevard and Edward Turner Drive.
Officials say construction is expected to start in 2014 and be completed by 2016, and designs will be finalized for a school up to 68,000 square feet.
The state-of-the-art school will accommodate between 450 and 600 students and feature a science technology education room, a physical education and health facility, a learning resource centre and library, a band and music room, a practical arts classroom and facilities for students with special needs, officials say.
The school will also include an early learning and child care centre with up to 114 spaces, said Premier Greg Selinger at the announcement, noting the school is part of the province’s Manitoba Building and Renewal Plan to meet Manitoba’s critical infrastructure needs.
Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby, who is also MLA for Southdale, said the new school will give parents and children in the area access to educational opportunities closer to home, as well as become a community focal point for extracurricular activities.
Students living in Sage Creek are currently attending English and French immersion programs at elementary and high school levels at various schools in the division, including Frontenac School, École Howden, Windsor Park Collegiate and Collège Béliveau.
"Since I was elected in 2007, I’ve spoken to many young moms and families about having education options close to home. There’s no doubt Sage Creek is growing and there’s a need here," Selby said, noting officials will be holding further consultation with the community about the project.
"Also, a new school and playground will bring people together and become the heart of the community, as these facilities will be the site of events such as school plays and different sports. Also, we have legislation now where no new school now can be built without a daycare, so this will provide a natural transition for the younger students."
Hugh Coburn, LRSD’s board chair, estimates the eventual cost of the new school cost could fluctuate between $18 to 22 million, depending on the cost of materials and other variables, but said it is too early to pinpoint an exact figure.
"It’s exciting news, but remember it is three to five years down the road. It’s a nice location for a school. When you look at the big picture for the community, there will be amenities like a bank, a Sobeys and a Tim Hortons, so it will have everything people would want," Coburn said.
"A lot of the families coming into Sage Creek are young, so many won’t mind waiting a bit for a school. And it will be nice that their kids will be able to walk there."
For more information, visit www.lrsd.net.