Twin Oaks expansion gets green light

By Robert Frank

Twin Oaks Elementary in Ste. Rose will begin a much-needed expansion next year, thanks to an injection of $9 million by the provincial government.

Laval’s burgeoning English student population has Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board (SWLSB) schools bursting at the seams.

“Laval in general is seeing increased enrolment,” SWLSB spokeswoman Maxeen Jolin told The Suburban. “Twin Oaks is operating well over capacity right now, so it was one of the schools that was on our priority list. Enrolment is currently 500 and the space has the capacity for 399 students, so the enlargement will be very welcome.”

Jolin said in an interview that the overflow classes are currently housed in temporary buildings.

“SWLSB approved the construction during its council meeting last week,” she explained. “The next step will be to go to tender to select a general contractor.”

“Construction ought to begin in March 2015,” she added. “Our objective is to complete the enlargement by January 2016.”

Sainte Rose MNA Jean Habel acknowledged that the young students’ needs outweighed the restrictions that the Liberal government’s current austerity program have imposed.

“I’m pleased that such an important project will move forward, despite the budgetary constraints that we confront,” he said in a statement. “Teachers and students will be the main beneficiaries of this investment, which will create an environment more conducive to their academic development.”

The $9 million Twin Oaks expansion was part of a $21.4 million investment in Laval schools that Education Minister Yves Bolduc announced, Sept. 18.

According to Fabre MNA Gilles Ouimet, the remaining funds will be given to SWLSB’s French counterpart, the Commission scolaire de Laval to build a new school in Western Laval, where the school population has also seen a significant increase.

During the provincial election campaign earlier this year, Vimont MNA Jean Rousselle told The Suburban that new schools—both French and English—are also needed in his Laval riding.

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