RIVERVIEW (GNB) – A sod-turning ceremony took place today for a new $21.6-million school in Riverview that will serve students from kindergarten to Grade 8.

The school is being built on a 11.6-hectare (29-acre) property off the Old Coach Road.

“We are excited to move forward with the construction of this school which will provide an inclusive, dynamic learning environment for children in the east Riverview area,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr. “With this new infrastructure, we are ensuring our system better supports students, teachers and staff.”

“This school will be energy efficient while providing a safe and high-quality learning environment,” said Albert MLA Wayne Steeves. “There will be lots of space to meet the needs of students and staff, which has been an ongoing issue in the older facilities.”

Steeves attended the event on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams.

The school is part of a $104-million investment in new projects to address pressing needs in schools, to continue construction and expansion projects, and to improve facilities and purchase new equipment.

Pomerleau Inc. of Dartmouth, N.S., won the construction contract for the work on the 10,228 sq. metre (110,050 sq. feet) school, which will be built in two storeys and will include two gymnasiums, 27 classrooms, two music rooms, a cafeteria and library, project work areas for students, and two sports fields. The building will be constructed in accordance with the province's Green Building Policy.

Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013. The school will replace the aging Gunningsville and Lower Coverdale schools.