Province breaks ground on second of two new schools in southwest Winnipeg

Construction began in August on a new elementary school in Waverley West, while work on a new high school is set to begin later this month.

The province has started work on two new schools in a bid to help meet southwest Winnipeg’s growing population.

Manitoba Education Minister Cliff Cullen participated in a sod-turning ceremony Tuesday at the site of the new facilities.

He said construction began in August on a new elementary school, while work on a new high school is set to begin later this month.

“As construction begins on this project, we are excited to celebrate with the students of Waverley West and the Bison Run community,” Cullen said at the ceremony.

“It’s a big moment for this community, as these two schools will be under construction over the coming years, and this will allow this growing neighbourhood to have safe spaces to learn.”

The province said it worked cooperatively with the Pembina Trails School Division on the 21-acre school campus. The project comes with a $67.8 million initial investment by the province toward the creation of a Waverley West community campus.

“The anticipation for these schools has been building for some time. The community is excited about it, our school division, our board – we’re all thrilled that this sod-turning is happening today,” said Kathleen McMillan, chair of the Pembina Trails School Division’s board of trustees.

“This is a huge event for us. This area is one of the fastest growing in the province and, of course, we need these schools. We know that to have a healthy, happy and successful society, we need to have a strong and functioning school system, and we have that here.”

According to the province, the two-storey, 81,400-square-foot elementary school will have a capacity of 800 students and is aimed to be finished by December 2022.

The three-storey, 116,950-square-foot high school has a capacity for 1,200 students with an aimed completion in June 2023.

Cullen said the two new schools are part of the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives’ re-election pledge to build 20 new schools. He said six schools are already open, while many more are in the design or construction stages.

The province said both schools fall within the first phase of the City of Winnipeg’s recently announced South Winnipeg Recreation Campus which involves a multi-use, multi-generational recreation centre with gyms, multi-purpose rooms, fitness space, a walking and running track, daycare, vocational building and adjacent site development.

The two schools, along with the South Winnipeg Recreation Campus will form a community campus for Waverley West residents, the province said.