20 new schools open in Saskatchewan
More than 11,000 students spend first day in brand-new schools
The first day of the school year for many Saskatchewan students coincided with 20 new P3 schools opening across the province. It's the single largest school construction project in the province's history.
More than 11,000 students converged on 18 schools built on joint-use sites across the province. Those include four locations in Saskatoon, three in Regina and one each in Martensville and Warman.
Julia Vincent, a Grade 5 student at St. Kateri Tekawitha, recently moved to Saskatoon with her family. She's new to the community but she joins the entire student population in starting fresh at a new school.
"It's a really really beautiful school and it's really new," said Vincent.
30-year contract governs decor, use of new schools
Joint-use schools consist of a public and Catholic school located in the same building, with each school operated by its own school division. Each site features a community daycare between the Catholic and public facilities.
For the first time, each of the 20 new schools opening today was built under a public-private partnership, commonly known as the P3 model.
No thumbtacks or tape will be used on the walls of the new schools. Teachers need permission before any holes can go in walls and they can't open the windows until the ventilation system has run for the first year.
Chloe Dingwall, who is in Grade 4 at St. Kateri Tekakwitha, said she was "very excited" to be at the new building.
"The teachers are very nice," Dingwall said. "It's very, very shiny and the furniture is actually brand new to the school."
Almost all the students at St. Kateri and Chief Whitecap used to be bused across a freeway to older schools. Parents in Stonebridge expressed how pleased they were to have schools in the neighbourhood, which now houses close to 12,000 people.
"You don't have that long commute so it does give them a little more independence as they grow older. Which, I love that feeling," said Shawna Vincent, Julia's mother.
"I feel like it's a safe community where everybody's talking to each other and communicating."
New Saskatoon Public Schools:
Sylvia Fedoruk School (Evergreen)
Ernest Lindner School (Hampton Village)
Colette Bourgonje School (Rosewood)
Chief Whitecap School (Stonebridge)
New Saskatoon Catholic Schools:
St. Nicholas Catholic School (Evergreen)
St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic School (Hampton Village)
St. Thérèse of Lisieux Catholic School (Rosewood)
St. Kateri Tekakwitha School (Stonebridge)
In Regina, three new joint schools in Harbour Landing, Greens on Gardiner and Rosewood Park welcomed students for the first time on Tuesday.
New Regina Public Schools:
École Harbour Landing School (Harbour Landing)
École Wascana Plains School (Greens on Gardiner)
Plainsview School (Rosewood Park)
New Regina Catholic Schools:
St. Kateri Tekakwitha School (Harbour Landing)
St. Elizabeth School (Greens on Gardiner)
St. Nicholas (Rosewood Park)
The names for the new schools were chosen after a Regina-wide "Name Your School" contest which received several hundred submissions.
Martensville is home to a brand new joint-use school which includes:
- Lake Vista Public School
- École Holy Mary Catholic School
A joint use school in Warman also opened which houses:
- Traditions Elementary School
- Holy Trinity Catholic School
With files from Jennifer Quesnel