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October 6, 2006
For immediate release

Planning Progressing Well for New Montague Regional High School


Planning is well underway for the construction of the new $14.8 million Montague Regional High School.

Premier Pat Binns, along with Education Minister Mildred Dover and Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister and local MLA Jim Bagnall, and Principal Lyman Douglas today released an update on the project.

Premier Binns advised that several important milestones in the planning process have been reached. The functional space program was completed last week. This plan outlines the requirements for the size and types of spaces in the new facility. The total size of the new school will be 107,061 square feet. The entire school will be new with the exception of complete renovation of the gymnasium and the Vocational Education area.

The architect will now use the functional program to consult with school staff and the Construction Planning Committee to determine space relationships and positioning. Following this, he will produce a final design and floor plan by May 2007 when tenders will be called. Construction of the school is expected to be complete in December 2008.

“This major investment by the province in a new Montague High School will provide greatly improved facilities for students and teachers. The project will also benefit the community through enhanced green space, combined cafeteria/theatre facilities and improved traffic safety,” said Premier Pat Binns.

Education Minister Dover advised that the Construction Planning Committee consists of: Gar Andrew, Ken MacRae, Clayton Coe, Tyler Richardson, Robert Clow, John Miodowski, Julius Patkai, Lyman Douglas, Bill McKinnon, Roger Kelly, Ashley Perry and Martina MacDonald.

The new school will have an expanded capacity for 650 students, new cafeteria/theatre facilities, a new library and modern science and technology labs. Other features include larger classrooms, wider hallways, better air quality and improved access to the school.

“The planning approach we are using is similar to what was done with other schools like Bluefield High School and Summerside Intermediate School,” said Education Minister Mildred Dover. “Our objective is to have a high quality facility that maximizes student learning at Montague High.”

Lyman Douglas, principal, highlighted other benefits to flow from the project. “Along with major improvements inside the school, there will also be enhancements outside. The green space and sports fields to the west of the school will be expanded and upgraded. The school construction and expansion will be to the south so access by students, staff and parents will be improved,” he said.

Minister Dover advised that the firm of William Chandler Architects has been retained to work with the planning committee to help translate input from teachers, students and parents into a workable design that meets the school’s needs well into the future.

“For example, in response to requests by the community, we have ensured that the plans will allow for three additional classrooms and an expanded cafeteria/theatre space that will accommodate stage and theatrical programming. Portable classrooms will not be used,” she added. The Education Minister also noted that the actual construction work will be phased to accommodate normal school operations.

The Government decision to build the new school in the Town center was heavily influenced by:

- proximity to the Junior High School and joint use of such facilities as the cafeteria;

- common buses between Junior and Senior High School which enables less travel time on buses compared to separate locations;

- students in Montague who walk to school;

- substantial increase in cost by moving away from services including water, sewer, street access, and electrical access;

- relatively good condition of the gymnasium and Vocational Education space; and

- benefits to the Town from central location.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister and local MLA Jim Bagnall said he welcomes news of this $14.8 million investment in the community. “At the end of the day, the finished product will be a first-rate facility that supports both students and teachers while enriching the community,” he said.

Media Contact: Jean Doherty
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