Sept. 28, 2009
BALMORAL (CNB) - The provincial government unveiled today the building design for what will be one of New Brunswick's first schools taking advantage of an innovative technology initiative.
Education Minister Roland Haché unveiled the plans for the $14-million school, which will be attended by children in eastern Restigouche County. The school is expected to open in the 2011-12 academic year.
Earlier this year, New Brunswick became the first province in Canada to sign a co-operation agreement with Microsoft's Partners in Learning Program. This program provides schools and educators with access to an innovative schools network; an online community complete with teaching aides; professional development tools; and a web portal to share best practices in education with other teachers around the world. It also provides new tools to enrich student projects in the classrooms.
"This school will put New Brunswick on the leading edge of innovation and technology in the classroom and challenge our students to develop their skills in critical thinking, problem-solving and working together - all necessary skills for the 21st century," said Haché.
Haché was joined at the announcement by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Initiative.
"Knowledge and confidence in the use of emerging technologies will be an essential skill for these young students when they join our province's workforce," said Arseneault. "This school will arm them with the tools they need to be successful and help us in building a self-sufficient New Brunswick."
The school will cover 6,060 sq. metres (65,231 sq. feet) and include: 16 classrooms; two kindergarten classrooms; a green classroom; a music room; an art/science room; a technology room; a cafeteria and kitchen; a resource centre; and an administration centre. The Village of Balmoral has committed to leading a regional effort to raise $288,000 for an expanded gymnasium.
The school will be designed in accordance with the provincial government's Green Buildings Program. David Foulem Architecture Inc. of Bathurst is designing the building, specifically, to achieve a silver rating under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a rating system that measures the performance of green buildings in Canada.
Arseneault also announced that the first tender has been issued and site preparation work will be carried out this fall.
"Investments in our educational system benefit staff and students, and they also stimulate our economy and provide employment opportunities," said Arseneault. "I am pleased that we are able to get this project underway quickly to take advantage of the stimulus it will provide our region during these difficult economic times."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Chrystiane Mallaley, communications, Department of Supply and Services, 506-457-7903; Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-453-3085.