When it comes to Valleyview School, trustees are hoping the third time's the charm.
Trustee Michelle Guitard's daughter is currently enrolled in Valleyview, so they can see how overcrowded the facility has become. Staff with the school board note the student population has doubled in size, and it's expected to reach close to 400 students within three years.
"When you're looking at bathrooms for 300 students, maybe a little bit less, there's two washrooms: there's the boys and the girls with -- what -- eight stalls in there?" said Guitard.
After being rejected twice for funding to build a new, bigger school, trustees with the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board decided last night to try one more time. They also put their money where their mouth is, as trustees committed $4 million for a new building project. They added it was also the only capital project on their request list for new funds.
"I'm thrilled that we're going to go ahead and let the Ministry of Education know we're serious," Guitard said, after the vote. "The school community has been advocating for a long time now that we need a bigger site."
Guitard also explained theirs is also a bit of a last-minute pitch.
"It's a push to try and get this done. We don't know what's going to happen with the government, once the election comes along, but if we can get them committed to giving us the allocation of the funds, that's fantastic. If not, we'll just keep pushing and reminding the ministry of education that it's a priority," she said.
However, if the board doesn't get funding to build before the writ is formally dropped for the provincial election in June, then parents, students, staff and trustees will have to wait until after the vote.
Guitard was also realistic, noting her daughter will have moved on, by the time a new building is completed, but she still felt it was a worthwhile project with a sense of urgency.
The total cost of the new school is expected to be about $16 million, leaving a gap of $12 million for the province to fill. The board is currently building a new high school in Sioux Lookout. It'll replace Queen Elizabeth, and it has a total price tag of about $30 million. Students are expected to start attending Sioux North this fall.
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