Blue schools? Quebec to build, renovate schools with province's colour
MONTREAL -- Quebec Premier François Legault and Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced on Tuesday the new look of future schools in Quebec, which will be enlarged, renovated or built with local wood and aluminum.
They will also be blue: the colour of Quebec's flag.
Interior spaces will also include more common areas for socializing, as well as gymnasiums and play areas to encourage young people to move and to expend energy.
They'll include flexible and scalable educational spaces that can accommodate various functions and adapt over time and will be integrated into their surroundings in the community.
Large windows are also part of the CAQ's plan to modernize the design of the current sometimes bunker-like windowless school buildings.
With two-thirds of Quebec schools in disrepair, the CAQ promised a $4 billion investment in renovations. They say $1.3 billion will be dedicated to building 20 new elementary schools and 16 new high schools by 2020, adding more than 1,000 classes to preschool and elementary schools, and more than 21,500 places to secondary school.
The rest of the money will renovate the 1,800 existing schools in need of repair.
"If we really believe that education is the priority in Quebec, we have to make sure that we put those schools in good shape. And also it's unacceptable right now. Some children, they are in temporary classrooms; we really need to build rapidly new schools," said Legault.
The project will be managed by the new service centres after most school boards were abolished by Bill 40 this winter.
English Montreal School Board commissioner Julian Feldman said school renovations are long overdue – but the premier missed a crucial step in coming up with the design.
"These are efforts that should be involving parents. Imposing this from the top, especially things like colour scheme, it looks like Premier Legault is saying, 'Hey, I have the power, so I'm going to enforce it and impose it on everyone because I'm the premier.' It doesn't make a lot of sense."
Construction and renovation of these new schools will begin this year though it's so far unclear where the new schools will be located and which schools will be renovated first.
Roberge promised, though, that both French and English schools will benefit from the investment.
- With files from The Canadian Press