FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick’s public school system will be strengthened through capital investments totaling $95.9 million by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in 2015-16.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Serge Rousselle made the announcement today when tabling the department’s capital budget in the legislative assembly.

“New Brunswick’s public schools must continue to offer safe and healthy environments that meet the needs of students, teachers and staff,” Rousselle said. “This significant investment in educational infrastructure will result in new and enhanced schools that will support students as they continue their journey of learning.”

The department will be investing in 10 new projects and three studies in 2015-16 as part of a multi-year infrastructure spending plan. The multi-year plan will enable the construction industry to anticipate the department’s infrastructure needs. The plan also supports the government’s work to ensure spending continues to be managed responsibly.

The plan aims at addressing health and safety requirements, capacity deficiencies and the rationalization of infrastructure.

“Our government supports projects involving the consolidation of infrastructure to provide better learning environments while reducing operating costs,” Rousselle said.

Rousselle also announced that work will continue on 14 existing major capital projects.

In addition, Rousselle announced the Mid-Life Upgrade project, which is a new component of the department’s capital program. The aim of the project is to identify schools with significant deficiencies due to age and size. This process will enable the department to carry out upgrades and modernize schools.

 “As the government continues its work to improve New Brunswick’s fiscal situation, it is important that we invest strategically and make every effort to optimize public infrastructure, including schools,” Rousselle said. “The Mid-Life Upgrade project is a great way to avert costly school replacements while ensuring students are in safe and appropriate educational facilities.”

The department’s capital budget also includes $23 million for a series of capital improvement projects which are each under $1 million. The amount includes funds supporting programs to ensure all schools meet basic health, safety and maintenance requirements.  These include:

·        radon mitigation;

·        roof replacement;

·        lighting retrofit;

·        air quality;

·        security; and

·        structural review.

The 10 new projects and three studies to receive funding this fiscal year are:

·         Woodstock High – upgrading of fire security system ($1.1 million);

·         Lower West Saint John Elementary – addressing closure of St. Patrick’s building ($2.6 million);

·         École Marie-Gaétane, Kedgwick – school upgrading ($400,000);

·         Secondaire Assomption, Rogersville - school upgrading ($600,000);

·         Grand Bay School – education facility requirement study ($50,000);

·         Miramichi East – a new school to replace inadequate facilities ($1.2 million);

·         Fredericton High – mid-life upgrade ($2 million);

·         Northrop Frye, Moncton – education facility requirement study ($50,000);

·         W.A. Losier, Tracadie-Sheila  – mid-life upgrade ($1.7 million);

·         Harrison Trimble, Moncton – mid-life upgrade ($1.6 million);

·         Leo Hayes, Fredericton – education facility requirement study ($50,000);

·         Dieppe Grades 3 to 8 – new school to address capacity requirements ($2.3 million); and

·         Samuel de Champlain, Saint John - expansion to address capacity requirements ($1.2 million).

The 14 existing major capital projects are: 

·         École le Sommet, Moncton ($133,000);

·         Moncton High School ($50,000);

·         Townsview School, Woodstock ($564,000);

·         Meduxnekeag Consolidated School, Bedell ($123,000);

·         École des Pionniers, Quispamsis ($200,000);

·         Polyvalente Thomas Albert, Grand Falls ($1.8 million);

·         Fredericton North, new school ($7.9 million);

·         New Quispamsis Elementary ($2.9 million);

·         Gretna Green K-8 elementary, Miramichi ($6.8 million);

·         New Miramichi West School ($13.1 million);

·         Riverview High addition ($3.8 million);

·         Restigouche Centre, Campbellton ($1.2 million);

·         École Envolée, Shippagan ($1.2 million); and

·         École Champlain, Moncton ($15.7 million).