Sask. government claims $100M savings from P3 schools

The provincial government says that using a P3 model to build 18 new schools in the province will save taxpayers about $100 million.

Project to also open 810 childcare spaces

Saskatchewan Education Minister Don Morgan. (CBC)

The provincial government says that using a public-private-partnership (P3) model to build 18 new schools in the province will save taxpayers more than $100 million. 

The government is using the financing model to build the 18 schools on what it calls nine joint-use sites in the communities of Regina, Saskatoon, Martensville and Warman. 

In a release issued early Tuesday afternoon, the government touted savings of $100 million using the P3 model for construction and financing. It says construction costs alone would save $34.5 million. 

According to numbers in the release, the project will also open up 810 new childcare spaces and community space.

The project is expected to be completed in September 2017. The schools will be publicly owned, according to the release. 

"We are excited to be saving taxpayers millions of dollars while at the same time generating about 2,300 new jobs," said SaskBuilds Minister Gordon Wyant. "By using a P3 model, we are building 18 schools at once — something we never could have achieved through a traditional approach."

"I know that students, parents and teachers will benefit from these schools," Education Minister Don Morgan said. "[The government's investment] also ensures that these facilities are maintained in a like-new condition for the next 30 years."

In total, the government said it will invest $635 million over the life of the contract. That covers: construction-related costs; the costs of maintenance over 30 years; and the costs of rehabilitation to "keep the schools in like-new condition."

That's $100 million cheaper than if the traditional model were to be used, says the government.