FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will invest $60.2 million in 2019-20 with the aim of building a world-class education system in public schools.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy made the announcement today in the legislative assembly while releasing the department's capital budget estimates for the upcoming fiscal year. This amount will enable the government to allot $5.6 million for two new infrastructure projects and continue work on current construction projects valued at $54.6 million.

“The decisions we make now will impact our children and our grandchildren,” said Cardy. “Our government is focused on building a world-class education system, and these investments will have a significant impact on helping New Brunswickers and the government achieve that goal.”

Capital projects were selected from priority lists established by district education councils and school districts.

Two new projects expected to begin in 2019-20 are:

  • Planning for a new anglophone school in Hanwell for students in kindergarten through Grade 8.
  • Planning for a new francophone school in Moncton for students in kindergarten through Grade 8.

“We have heard from New Brunswickers and district education councils who have told us we need to address overcrowding and growing enrolment,” said Cardy. “Our government is thrilled to announce that we will begin the planning phases for new schools in Hanwell and Moncton. These new schools will have a significant impact for those living in the two communities.”

The Anglophone West school district education council has indicated that a new school in Hanwell is a priority. The school will help to alleviate overcrowding in Fredericton schools and reduce travel time for students. More than 440 students are currently bused each day from Hanwell to elementary and middle schools in Fredericton.

The new Moncton school will help address overcrowding in the city’s francophone school system, particularly at École Le Sommet, École Champlain and École L'Odyssée. This project was approved in the 2018-19 capital budget but the government announced it would nearly double the size of the school to accommodate upwards of 1,300 students.

Seven projects at various stages of architectural planning and construction will continue:

  • A mid-life upgrade to Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton.
  • Construction of the new École Arc-en-ciel school in Oromocto for students in kindergarten through Grade 8.
  • Construction of the new Moncton North school for Grades 6-8.
  • Phase 1 of renovations and upgrades to Bath Community School.
  • An addition and renovation at Connaught Street School in Fredericton.
  • An addition and renovation at École Marie-Gaétane in Kedgwick.
  • Installing playground equipment at the new École Le Marais and École Antonine-Maillet schools in Dieppe.

A total of $22.9 million will go toward repairs, upgrades, equipment and a dust collector program to ensure that schools are safe.

“We recognize there are a number of projects that local communities and district education councils wanted to see move forward, but, unfortunately, we do not have the resources to fund every project at this time,” said Cardy. “In order to return to balance, our department had to make some difficult choices.”

The department will delay nine projects that are in various stages of architectural planning and construction:

  • Planning work on the Bessborough School project in Moncton.
  • Design phase of a new school in Campbellton for students in kindergarten through Grade 8.
  • Phase 2 of a renovation and addition project at Bath Community School.
  • Mid-life upgrades to Polyvalente Louis-J.-Robichaud in Shediac, Polyvalente W.-Arthur-Losier in Tracadie, Saint John High School, and Cité des Jeunes A.-M.-Sormany in Edmundston.
  • Mid-life upgrade and addition to the Oromocto High School gym.
  • Phase 2 renovation for skilled trades at Petitcodiac Regional School.

The government’s 2019-20 capital budget aims to address the top priorities of New Brunswickers by investing in schools and hospitals and ensuring that existing roads and highways are maintained.