TRAINING. The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, was in the region to inaugurate the Marconi school while formalizing the start of the renovation work on the 2 Rivières primary school in Saint-Lucien and the new secondary school in Drummondville. These projects represent a total investment of US$200 million.
The Marconi school welcomed its first students last September, divided into 24 primary, pre-school and special education classes. On Thursday afternoon, the education secretary, accompanied by Johnson’s deputy André Lamontagne and the media, visited the facilities.
Jean-François Roberge criss-crossed the facility’s aisles to get to the double gymnasium, which is equipped with acoustic panels to reduce noise. After that, he went to a music class, where fourth-graders were waiting for him. Some sat at the piano and others at the violin. The musicians introduced the track My heart will continue to beat by Celine Dion, supported by her teachers. The Marconi School is characterized by its special music program. The minister ended his visit on the balcony where an outdoor classroom was set up.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Education, as part of the Plan québécois des Infrastructures 2019-2029, has granted financial support of more than $20 million for the realization of this project.
Two big projects
Jean-François Roberge took the opportunity to recall that renovation work has begun on the 2 Rivières primary school in Saint-Lucien. Student entry is planned for March 2023. There will be eight classes in total. The Department of Education has invested over $17 million in this initiative.
That’s not all. The construction of the new secondary school in the Saint-Nicéphore district has also started. It will have a capacity of 1,256 student places and will include 43 classrooms, six science laboratories, eight art rooms, a 400-seat auditorium with a stage, five sports facilities, one locker per student, one outdoor public space and an outdoor multi-sport soccer field with natural grass, 130 parking spaces and 30 bus stops.
“This is a big project for the whole community,” said the minister, adding that the first students will enter in September 2024. The cost of the project is $167 million.
It is still too early to know which programs will be available, said the director general of the Center de services scolaire des Chênes (CSSDC), Lucien Maltais. “We are running a project with our four secondary schools to review the range of services including the new school. We are in a consultation phase. We will work with the staff. In a year or two we will have a better idea of what this school’s programs will be like,” he said.
A new generation of schools
These three projects respect the government’s new vision for building, expanding and renovating schools. In terms of community integration and sustainable development, the new generation of schools will be adapted to current teaching methods.
For example, common rooms promote socialization and the feeling of togetherness among students. The educational facilities feature a brand new architectural identity that emphasizes accents of blue and Quebec materials, primarily wood and aluminum.
Recall that in the fall, the Center de services scolaire des Chênes sent four requests to the Quebec Ministry of Education to fill the area’s primary school shortages, namely in the sectors of Drummondville, Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover, Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil and Lefebvre. The projects selected by the ministry will be announced in June.