September 13, 2016 7:50 pm
Updated: September 14, 2016 12:27 pm

New Saskatoon joint-use schools on schedule to open next fall

WATCH ABOVE: Nine future joint-use schools across Saskatchewan are on schedule and on budget after crews were able to work extensively throughout last winter. Joel Senick reports.

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Nine future joint-use schools across Saskatchewan are on schedule and on budget after crews were able to work extensively throughout last winter, according to Saskatchewan’s education minister.

“Last winter happened to be a remarkably mild winter, so people were able to work outside almost all winter long,” said Education Minister and Deputy Premier Don Morgan after touring a future joint-use school in Saskatoon’s Stonebridge neighbourhood Tuesday morning.

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“Right now the buildings are almost at the point where they’re closed in, so even if the weather gets real bad real soon we’ll still be on time for next year.”

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Construction on the sites began in September 2015 and is expected to be complete by next fall, in time for the school year. The province pegged the entire project at $635 million.

After touring the Stonebridge site, Morgan predicted it would eventually “be the best learning space that [he] had ever seen.” Roughly 1,500 students from the catholic and public school divisions are expected to fill its eventual classrooms and child care spaces.

“The large windows, the open spaces, the presentation staircases where kids will have a chance to sit, learn, read,” said Morgan, when describing the facility.

With next winter approaching, crews are now moving to weather-tight the buildings so interior work can be comfortably completed indoors, according to Ian Podmore, the construction lead for the joint-use mutual partnership. The group is delivering the project for the government.

“We’re still very much in the throes of the construction; the main focus really is on transitioning from the outside of the buildings to the inside during the winter,” Podmore said.

“We’ll keep painting, we’ll be putting floors in, we’ll be putting ceilings in, we’ll be finalizing a lot of the equipment in spaces.”

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Roughly 120 workers are active daily at the Stonebridge site, said Podmore. He added that the number will likely increase in the coming months.

“As you progress throughout the site, the numbers typically build up to a peak,” he said.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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