Department of Education briefs Iqaluit city council on Trois-Soleils school expansion

Final community consultation taking place tonight

Nunavut’s Department of Education briefed Iqaluit city councillors on plans to expand École des Trois-Soleils on Tuesday, Jan. 28. (File photo)

By Dustin Patar

The Nunavut Department of Education briefed Iqaluit city council on the expansion plans for École des Trois-Soleils during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The project would involve adding a new gymnasium, four classrooms and additional support spaces, amounting to an additional 1,500 square metres.

“We want to be very transparent on the project we’re talking about, the expansion of Trois-Soleils, which will make it the first K through 12 French school in Nunavut,” said Barry Cornthwaite, the manager of capital planning for the Department of Education.

The estimated size of the new student body, including high school students, would be around 100.

According to Cornthwaite, in terms of size, Trois-Soleils would mirror a 100-student school in any community.

But that doesn’t determine project funding.

“With regard to capital funding, it’s not done per student or anything like that, it’s basically the cost per square metre,” said Cornthwaite.

The cost of the expansion ranges somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per square metre.

“I just want to point out, conservatively, that’s $150,000 per student in capital costs,” said Coun. Kyle Sheppard.

“What’s the planning process look like for other schools in Iqaluit?”

“Nakasuk School is in pre-planning and we have put forward other schools because of the crowding that’s happening,” replied Cornthwaite, who acknowledged that submissions don’t always get picked by the legislature because there are other needs throughout the territory.

“The unique thing in Iqaluit, because there’s more than one school, kids can be spread out a little bit. But … in Coral Harbour, there’s only one school in the community.”

The Department of Education has submitted an application to Heritage Canada that would provide additional funding for the expansion. However, that would be for areas that are for public use, like the gymnasium.

On that subject, Coun. Romeyn Stevenson asked, “I’m wondering if there’s been consideration given to a viewing space in the gymnasium?”

One of the designers indicated that interest in a viewing area was also expressed by staff and students.

“We’re at the design part of the building right now,” said Cornthwaite.

Although they’ve already consulted with staff, students and the Commission Scolaire Francophone du Nunavut, the Department of Education does want to hear from the community.

The final community consultation will take place tonight at 6 p.m. at École des Trois-Soleils.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by $10,000 per square meter on

    Maybe we could get the solid silver school, rather than the one made out of gold.

    Really, I’d like to see the costing. $10,000 to $12,000 per square meter seems outlandish.

    Are they budgeting for Ottawa construction workers who will be flown in at the start of their shift and back out again at the end of each day?

    The article does not mention the expected total cost, but 1500 square feet of the addition times $10,000 per square meter gives $15,000,000.

    If so, then Coun. Kyle Sheppard’s estimate of $150,000 per student is way off, because it is based upon the future total school capacity of 100 students. He should divide the $15,000,000 (the cost for increasing the size of the school) by the number of additional students the school will be able to accommodate.
    If the school will expand from 60 students to 100 students, then the correct calculation is $15,000,000 / 40 = $375,000 for each additional student.

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