Surging population means portable classrooms at 7 schools
Education minister says rate of growth could not have been forecast
Rapid population growth on the Avalon Peninsula means modular classrooms are being added to several schools, according to Education Minister Darin King.
King says the department analyzes statistics, but no one could predict the population explosion in some areas — particularly in Paradise.
He says the portable classrooms can help alleviate the problem.
"It's been a real challenge, I have to say, on the northeast Avalon with the growth we've experienced,” King said.
“The advantage of the portables is that it allows us quick access to a classroom, and it provides us with portability so that we can quickly add space on to the school as it's required, in Paradise in particular, and then we have the portables that we can re-use elsewhere."
Seven schools will get the units.
Five of them need extra space. Those schools are Beachy Cove Elementary in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's; École des Grands-Vents in St. John's; Newtown Elementary in Mount Pearl; St. Bernard's Elementary in Witless Bay; and Paradise Elementary.
Two others — St. Francis of Assisi Elementary in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove and Mary Queen of Peace Elementary in St. John's — are getting the modular classrooms to accommodate full-day Kindergarten, which is scheduled to begin in 2016.
King says in most cases, the portables will be temporary until extensions or new schools can be completed, or a school's population tapers off.
But he says more schools may need units when full-day Kindergarten starts.
According to the minister, new schools are planned in both Paradise and Torbay.