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This article was published 25/6/2018 (1056 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The province has just given the green light for a new school in the Inkster Gardens area.
On June 12, the Winnipeg School Division hosted an open house at Meadows West School to present the preliminary design for Waterford Green School, a kindergarten-to-Grade 8 French dual track school that should be up and running by September 2020.
The new school will be located at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and King Edward Street with a capacity for 600 students, planned for future expansion for up to 800 students. LM Architectural Group is responsible for the 75,000-square-foot school’s design which includes 17 classrooms, a multi-purpose room, a large gym, shops area, a daycare for 74 children and a nursery. In the future, eight classes can be added to the building.
"We think of always keeping the children safe and then organizing the building for the use of the community because schools are always a community asset. The gyms, the MPR, the classrooms and sometimes the library all get utilized by the community," Terry Danelley of LM Architectural Group said. "You got to plan it so that the community could have access to those areas without necessarily having access to all of the school."
Dean Koshelanyk, a Winnipeg school division trustee for Ward 9, was present at the open house and said a new school is urgently needed due to young families moving into Castlebury Meadows and Waterford Green faster than was predicted.
"Our schools in the local area are quite frankly bursting. We’ve had to add on portables, and it was always intended that once Waterford Green was going up, a school would be built," Koshelanyk said. "It’s going to be a good thing for the students and their families to be able to walk to the school as opposed to having to be bussed to any of the other area schools."
Koshelanyk also said the division’s plans to build the school had to be accelerated once the current provincial government committed the money. He said the province gave them two years to plan and build the school.
"The administrations of the school division and the people they work with at the provincial level have done a fantastic job. I think they are doing a lot of what the residents in the area want."
Students who have already moved to these two new neighbourhoods are being bussed to other WSD schools. Castlebury Meadows students are spread throughout Prairie Rose Elementary School, École Garden Grove School, and École Stanley Knowles School. Waterford Green students attend Tyndall Park Community School, Meadows West School, École Garden Grove School, and École Stanley Knowles School, all of which are at capacity. The division stated that transportation is arranged for students in nursery to Grade 6, living more than 1.6 kilometres from their designated school.
The division is also discussing with the province to add a new high school in the area.
Koshelanyk said that at this time, the division couldn’t allow families to choose which schools they will attend because "our schools are jammed packed because of what is currently happening."
"It seems that the history in this province and especially in the city, schools are full the moment they open," Koshelanyk said. "Once (Waterford Green School) opens up there will be the opportunity again for a school of choice."
Registration for the new school is not open yet. A principal will be appointed for the new school in 2019, and then more information on registration will be provided. Additional open houses will be held as construction progresses. For more updates, go to www.winnipegsd.ca/ourschools/newschool/pages/default.aspx
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti was the community journalist for The Times.