Manitoba

Amber Trails expanding with 8 more classrooms

A school in Seven Oaks School Division built in 2015 is already so overcrowded it will receive several additional classrooms by December 2018.

The K-8 school, which opened at full capacity 2 years ago, is now over-capacity by 150 students

Amber Trails Community School will see eight classrooms added next year. (Seven Oaks School Division)

A school in Seven Oaks School Division built in 2015 is already so overcrowded it will receive several additional permanent classrooms by December 2018.

Amber Trails Community School will see eight classrooms totalling about 13,000 sq. ft. added to the 86,000 sq. ft. school at an estimated cost of about $3 million. The final figure won't be known until after the tendering process, a provincial spokesperson says.

The school, built to hold 600 students, already has 750 students, SOSD superintendent Brian O'Leary told CBC earlier in September. 

"We're refusing entrance to new students and busing them to other schools to go to school in portables," he said. "We're telling people who live a block away from the school and who bought a home that there isn't room for your child at this school and we'll have to bus them to a different school."

The lack of space is a strain on washrooms, gym space and other core facilities, he added.

O'Leary said Tuesday it may seem odd to build additional classrooms on such a new school, but said the school was built with available resources at the time and with an eye to avoid over-building. Planners also knew the school was likely to expand in the near future.

There are three or four more schools in the works, he added, as the neighbourhood continues to grow.

Enrolment in the division has increased by 2,500 students since 2005, and is expected to keep increasing by 200 students per year for the foreseeable future.

Education Minister Ian Wishart said the Amber Trails project will be ready for tender in early 2018, with a projected completion date of December 2018. The school also has a child care centre with 64 children and flex space for nursery school/kindergarten and a before-and-after school program. 

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