Saskatchewan Government unveils joint-use school designs
The designs for Regina’s three joint-use schools don’t come as any surprise to division board chairs, but their unveiling Monday represents one more step toward relieving pressure on the city’s classrooms.
Describing some of Regina’s public schools as “bursting at their seams,” board chair Katherine Gagne was quick to emphasize getting enrolment to adequate levels as the primary benefit of the new schools.
Located in Harbour Landing, Greens on Gardiner and Rosewood Park, the schools will accommodate 3,300 students and be used by both schools divisions. They were designed after extensive consultation with the divisions, parents and students.
“The important thing that we did was engage kids to try and make it so it was a student-friendly, learning-focused place,” said Education Minister Don Morgan at an announcement in Saskatoon.
He said students requested large windows, green space and environmentally friendly construction. Each school will be tailored to the needs of its community, he added.
That said, the floor plans the ministry released for Regina’s schools are identical to each another. That doesn’t bother Gagne, though, who is convinced by the level of community consultation.
“Joint-use” doesn’t necessarily mean shared spaces either. The schools’ mirror-image, butterfly, two-storey floor plans are reflective of how the two divisions will maintain separate operations.
That includes split entrances, with a community entryway in the centre. The gyms and libraries are also set apart, something Regina Catholic Schools board chair Frank Flegel is pleased to see given the divisions’ different needs, he said.
He is also happy with the central gathering area as well as the opportunity to literally break down the barrier between spaces to bring together larger groups when needed.
Gagne, meanwhile, loves the early childcare centres — each school will have 90 spaces — and community areas.
Neither Gagne nor Flegel said there was anything missing from the designs they had hoped to see.
The schools are sectioned off by grade, with kindergarten and the youngest three grades on the first floor.
They will also incorporate portable classrooms, something Flegel called “wise” given fluctuations in school populations. Gagne agreed the flexibility they provide is beneficial.
The province is building nine joint-use schools in total, the others being in Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville.
Morgan said all of the projects are either “on or ahead of schedule,” and the government is “fully-confident” they will open in September 2017.Back to news