Saskatchewan

Parents of St. Pius students say school is unsafe, call for new one

Parents say the walls are cracking, the roof is leaking and the school is unsafe.

Parents say they have been told for years improvements would be made to the school

Saskatchewan Education Minister Gordon Wyant said the issues at St. Pius had been known for some time and that there is certainly a need for a new school, but he says safety reviews show that there is no risk posed to students by the condition of the school. (CBC News)

Parents of current and former students at Regina's École St. Pius X say the school is falling apart, and for the sake of the community a new school is needed.

Colleen Silverthorn, a mother of three who has sent all of her children to St. Pius, said Tuesday a new school or improvements to the current one have been promised for some time. 

"My one daughter started at St Pius. When she was in kindergarten we were told the school was going to be rebuilt because it was in bad shape then. She's in Grade 10 — there's been nothing done on it," Silverthorn said following question period at the Saskatchewan Legislature on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, the Opposition NDP highlighted problems at St. Pius, including a leaky roof, a heaving floor and falling ceiling tiles.

Pictures from a report on Regina's École St. Pius X show a school in desperate need of repair or rebuilding. (Regina Catholic School Division)

Nearby Argyle School, which is part of Regina Public Schools, is also in need of repair. The public school division and Regina Catholic Schools, which is responsible for St. Pius, have submitted a joint-use proposal to build a new school for students at both Argyle and St. Pius.

Minister of Education Gordon Wyant said the issues at St. Pius have been known for some time and that there is certainly a need for a new school. But the joint-use proposal will make a new school more likely, he said Tuesday.

"I know the school needs some attention," said Wyant. "The request for a joint-use school, that will move it up on the priority list."

The education minister said there are frequent safety reviews that consistently show there is no risk posed to students by the condition of the schools. But Silverthorn still feels St. Pius is not fit for students.

"One of the classroom's ceilings fell in a couple years ago. We've got classrooms closed because they're not safe to be inhabited," she said.

"We have got the presence of asbestos throughout the facility — while contained, it's still present. And we think this is a priority."

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