Harbour Landing School is set to be completed, on time and on budget according to Education Minister Don Morgan.
The school is part of the biggest school-build project in provincial history, with nine joint-use private-public partnership (P3) being constructed in Regina, Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville.
Government officials and members of Regina’s public and Catholic school boards toured the construction site Monday morning to get a first look at the institution.
“Usually when you get a lot of people involved in designing anything, if they want to design a horse, they come up with a camel, but this time they came up with something that works beautifully,” Regina Catholic School Board Chair Frank Flegel said.
“It’s a 21st century building for a 21st century education.”
Through a series of consultation sessions, creative ways to meet desired needs have been found.
Classrooms in both the public and Catholic sides of the school will have garage doors that open into multi-purpose areas. This can be used to open up collaborative learning environments for different classes.
The finished school will also feature outdoor learning spaces and a child care centre.
Both sides of the school will have their own gymnasium, and student commons area. This area will have a specialized staircase that doubles as an amphitheatre.
“I love when you walk into the building an you have that grand staircase, which will serve as an opportunity to be a gathering place, a place of performance, and community,” Regina Public School Board Chair Katherine Gagne said.
Harbour Landing School will be a kindergarten through Grade 8 establishment and house about 900 students between the two sides.
Once complete, building upkeep will be handled by the Joint-Use Mutual Partnership (JUMP), a collection of companies involved in building the P3 schools.
READ MORE: P3 team selected to build 6 joint-use schools in Saskatoon region
JUMP is contracted for 25 years. Education Minister Don Morgan said the deal should save the province about $100 million.
This saving goes along with the ministry’s message to the province’s school divisions to find savings. This is part of the government’s talks of “transformational change”.
Potentially amalgamating school divisions is something that’s been discussed, but Morgan said joint-use schools aren’t a sign of things to come.
“There may be discussion on amalgamation of school divisions, but not between separate schools and public schools. I don’t see that happening,” Morgan explained.
Construction of Harbour Landing School and the eight other P3 schools is reportedly on time. They’re all set to be open for the 2017/18 school year.