September 11, 2017 9:03 pm
Updated: September 11, 2017 9:59 pm

Windows must remain closed for at least one year at new P3 schools

A ribbon cutting took place at Ecole Harbour Landing and St. Kateri Tekakwitha, one of the city's three new P3 schools. As David Baxter explains, the new school has new rules -- and some unexpected new limitations.

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The P3 joint-use public/Catholic schools have been open for a week in Regina, Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville. However, the same cannot be said for the windows.

The contract between the school division and the Joint Use Mutual Partnership (JUMP) dictates that the windows must remain closed for at least the first school year.

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“What they have to do is keep them closed for the period of a year so they can get a baseline of the energy, because they’re responsible to save, and prove that they can save a certain amount of energy over the lifecycle of the building,” Regina Catholic School Division Facilities Superintendent Rodd Hoffart explained.

In the P3 School Reference Guide for Staff, it says JUMP will reassess the window policy after the first year once a baseline is established.

Students still receive circulated air through the fully air conditioned building. However, as with any new building, there are some growing pains. St. Kateri Tekakwitha principal Monica Norris said JUMP has had to come work on the AC due to the unseasonably warm start of the school year.

“As a two story building we have had some of the temperatures that have gotten a little bit higher than we would like, and not being able to open windows has been a bit of a factor with it, but they’ve had people out working on our air conditioning units,” Norris said.

Opposition Leader Nicole Sarauer said that this policy is not in the best interest of the students.

“These are things that should have been figured out beforehand, before the students are in to utilize the space,” Sarauer said.

“There’s some concerns when you’re not able to open up a window for period of time.”

The reference guide says the P3 schools should be treated like leased property, and should be maintained in “like new” condition.

Part of this involves limits on class decorations. Nothing can be mounted on walls without written authorization from JUMP. The guide states that 3M adhesive hooks and sticky tack are allowed.

Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said that these measures are in place to avoid damaging structures behind the drywall.

“If you’re going to mount anything major there has to be some running of that by the school, and in this case JUMP just to ensure you’re not going to hit anything mechanical,” Eyre said.

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