When students throughout Newfoundland and Labrador get back to hitting the books, they may notice some improvements to their schools because contractors have been busy throughout the summer vacation improving school roofs, windows, siding and brick work.
More than 12,000 students will arrive at schools that have received new or upgraded roofs, or will soon see roof work beginning, said Education Minister Tom Hedderson. Contracts have been awarded for roof work on some 26 schools that will be completed throughout the Fall. Tenders are also currently being called for roof work on two other schools.
â€œWorld-class education is among this governmentâ€™s highest priorities,â€ said Minister Hedderson. â€œFrom Labrador City to St. Johnâ€™s, and from Harbour Grace to Springdale, roofing contractors have been busy all summer preparing schools for the studentsâ€™ arrival. To put the extent of work in perspective, the total square footage of new or improved roofing this year alone is almost 6 hectares. That amounts to roofing that would cover 38 NHL hockey rinks.â€
Roofing construction is complete or nearing completion on 13 schools. It is anticipated that work on all remaining schools will be complete this construction season. â€œA limited number of companies are able to do this type of roofing,â€ said the minister. â€œWe are proceeding as quickly as possible and are certainly on top of things. We are monitoring the work on a weekly basis to see if we can move forward with yet more projects this year or, if necessary, hold them over until next Spring.â€
In addition to the millions invested in roofing upgrades, the Department of Education is also replacing windows and siding on 13 schools, and coordinating preventative maintenance on brick work.
â€œGovernment will continue to make prudent and strategic decisions with our limited resources. Directing much-needed funds to school improvements is not only an investment in our children, but ultimately in our future. Secure learning environments are essential components of any quality educational system,â€ added Minister Hedderson.