MIRAMICHI (GNB) – The official opening of the new Max Aitken Academy was held today in Miramichi.

“We understand that education is a priority for New Brunswickers,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser. “This new school offers a modern, safe, and welcoming learning environment for students and staff.”

The $22-million K-8 school accommodates about 500 students. It includes 25 classrooms, an early childhood development space, two multi-function rooms, project work areas, music and performing arts rooms, science and technology labs, a double and single gymnasium, a cafetorium, resource classrooms, administration and staff work areas.

The academy replaced three older schools, Croft Elementary School, Harkins Elementary School and Harkins Middle School.

“Your government continues to make record investments in education,” said Fraser. “Having the proper infrastructure in place is important as we work with our partners to implement our 10-year education plans.”

The school is named for William Maxwell Aitken, who became Lord Beaverbrook and was a prominent Canadian businessman and former chancellor of the University of New Brunswick. His family moved to Newcastle in 1880.

About $88 million will be invested in public schools in 2017-18.

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.