Quebec invests $4B in ‘new generation’ of schools across the province

Quebec Premier François Legault alongside Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge at a press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Brittany Henriques / Global News

The Quebec government announced on Tuesday it is investing $4 billion to create what it describes as a “new generation” of schools across the province.

Premier François Legault and Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said the funding will be used to build new schools and renovate existing buildings.

The elementary and high schools will have aesthetic touches of royal blue. Wood and aluminium made in Quebec will be used in the design of the schools.

The announcement comes after a year of consultations with educators, students and architects. Some of the main concerns are a lack of windows and space in schools.

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“We have 2,400 schools in Quebec,” said Legault. “Unfortunately 75 per cent of them — 1,800 schools — are not in good shape.

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“I think if we really believe that education is the priority in Quebec, we have to make sure that we put those schools in good shape.”

Roberge said 36 existing schools, which include 20 elementary and 16 high schools, were already approved for renovations in June 2019.

The government said it is prioritizing renovating schools in poor condition and removing temporary modular classrooms to replace them with an expanded school.

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The premier called it “unacceptable” to have libraries, music and art rooms used as classrooms due to a booming student enrollment at some schools.

“Right now some children are in temporary classrooms,” said Legault.  “We really need to build new schools rapidly. We need to be proud of the beauty of our schools in Quebec.”

The province is hoping to use land owned by municipalities to carry out the project.

“We are fully confident that will come to an agreement with all the cities to build and enlarge those schools,” said Roberge.

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