Council chair, NDP MLA slam conditions at Regina's Argyle School as 'unacceptable'

Students at Regina’s Argyle School had a wet start to their Thursday morning, as a downpour of rain saw water leaking from the ceilings and dripping through the walls of the school.

Province says flooding on Thursday was caused by a blockage in a roof drain

Water overflowed from the sinks at Regina's Argyle School after a downpour on Thursday morning.

Students at Regina's Argyle School had a wet start to their Thursday morning, as a downpour of rain saw water leaking from the ceilings and dripping through the walls of the school.

Marlene Jackson, chairperson of the Argyle School Community Council, posted photos and videos of the damage on Facebook, decrying it as "unacceptable."

A blockage in a roof drain led to the flooding that affected two classrooms, with crews on site fixing the issue on the day itself, according to Education Minister Gordon Wyant.

"Certainly it's a bit of concern, but the fact is this happened as a result of a blockage in a roof drain, and rain is an occurrence we certainly couldn't expect," he said.

School deteriorating, says NDP critic

Carla Beck, the NDP's education critic, questioned the government on Thursday about its plans to handle education infrastructure.

"Certainly parents are expressing concern about their children learning in these conditions," she said.

Beck said while the school has been waiting for repairs or a replacement, its condition has been deteriorating. (CBC)

While the maintenance of schools falls to school boards, the government controls the purse strings for these boards, said Beck.

It's unimaginable that we can't do better for the students in the province then having them learn in those conditions.- NDP MLA Carla Beck

Argyle School has been slated for a rebuild for several years and still sits in the province's top 10 priority list in line for replacements.

"All that time they've been waiting for the rebuild; in the meantime, they've seen the conditions at the school deteriorate," she said.  

Fixing or replacing question

The conditions at neighbouring École St. Pius X are similarly unacceptable, Beck said, adding school boards are facing the choice of wondering whether they should put "inadequate dollars" into repairs and fixing up schools, or if they will be getting replacements as promised.

"It's unimaginable that we can't do better for the students in the province then having them learn in those conditions," Beck added.

Education Minister Gordon Wyant said budget constraints have meant the government has not been able to put money into school replacements. (CBC)

Wyant said he considered it very important that students have safe schools to attend, with proper learning environments.

"Last year there were nine new schools that opened in the city of Regina, which I think is a pretty good indication of this government's commitment to educational capital," he said.

This year, budget constraints have meant the government has not been able to put money into school replacements, but capital education projects will be discussed with cabinet and the Treasury Board leading into crafting next year's budget, he said.

With files from Adam Hunter

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