Montague school gets long-awaited expansion

The P.E.I. government announced a new $1.3 million addition for Montague Intermediate School Thursday.

Expansion includes industrial arts and music classrooms

The student body had outgrown the old music room at the school, says Education Minister Alan McIsaac. (Linda Ward/CBC)

The P.E.I. government announced a new $1.3 million addition for Montague Intermediate School Thursday.

The expansion will include a new music room and industrial arts facilities.

"You see that music room that's so crowded and you know that the industrial arts room is in the old school. So this was always a high priority," said Education Minister Alan McIsaac.

Students at the intermediate school had been using the industrial arts classroom at the old high school, which was closed in 2010. Staff and students at Montague Intermediate have been lobbying for the expansion for three years.

"It is fantastic news and I'm really excited about it. It is the exact tender that we asked for three years ago, which I was part of the planning process, as well as the industrial arts teacher and the music teacher," said principal Kevin Stonefield.

"It sounds identical to what we asked for and what we need."

Project delayed

Montague Intermediate was supposed to be expanded at the same time as the new high school was being built, but some projects ran over budget and the expansion was shelved. McIsaac said the school was the beneficiary of some projects coming in under budget this year.

Expansion of the school had been a top priority, says Education Minister Alan McIsaac. (CBC)

"Part of it came from Spring Park [School] and some other areas within the capital budget. We had some savings because tenders had come in lower than we had suspected on some of the other projects, [that] built us up a nice little kitty so we could go ahead and do this," he said.

"We are very pleased that we had the dollars to go ahead with it."

The 6,100 square foot expansion will include new space for woodworking, metals and visual arts, as well as an instructor's office, a small computer lab and an expansion of the multipurpose room. The new band room will feature four practice rooms, a music instructor's office and a sound studio.

The expansion is also applauded by opposition MLA Steven Myers, who represents the district of Georgetown-St.Peters. Some students from his area attend Montague Intermediate.

"It is unfortunate that there had to be so much fighting and attention struck on it before government saw the need to fulfill their promise, but it's a fantastic piece of news for Montague Intermediate," he said.  

Tenders for the school expansion will be called later this fall, with the work expected to be complete by the fall of 2013.