EDMUNDSTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $1.5 million to begin upgrades at the Cité des Jeunes A.-M.-Sormany school in Edmundston as part of the 2018-19 capital budget.

“Investing in education is crucial for the health of our families and will also benefit our economy,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Our multi-year economic plan will ensure we can continue to make strategic investments in education to ensure that our schools continue to meet the needs of current and future students.”

A building assessment was completed last summer and the results showed that a mid-life upgrade was feasible. Such upgrades are meant to address all architectural, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical deficiencies of a school, as well as modernize it and extend its use by 30 years or more. This expense is a fraction of the replacement cost.

Design work is expected to begin this spring.

The school was built in 1971 and has nearly 950 students. In terms of area, it is the largest school in the province. The facility also houses the Francophone nord-ouest school district office.

The 2018-19 capital budget includes investments of $105.8 million in New Brunswick schools.

The government’s 10-year education plans aim to improve educational outcomes and better prepare young people for the future. They set objectives in priority areas to create lifelong learners, support educational leaders and bring stability to the system.