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School board talks new HUB and accessibility

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

The Portage la Prairie school board met this week and talked about the new HUB planned at North Memorial School as well as an accessibility issue that will be resolved at Portage Collegiate. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)

The Portage la Prairie school board met this week and talked about the new HUB planned at North Memorial School as well as an accessibility issue that will be resolved at Portage Collegiate. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)

North Memorial School was the topic of discussion at this week’s school board meeting in Portage la Prairie as the new community HUB featuring a daycare, grooming room, and community room will move into the construction phase.

“Within the daycare is going to be a community room which will be for the public to access around any kind of social services,” says Portage la Prairie School Division superintendent, Todd Cuddington. “It could be related to public health, early childhood education, nutrition, literacy, numeracy, anything to help young moms and dads in the community. It doesn’t have to be school either."

Wee World Day Care has partnered with the school division and will be a main feature of the North Memorial HUB. This capital project will include 74 child-care spaces, 20 infant and 54 pre-school, plus a large multi-purpose community room and a brand new, fully accessible grooming room. This project will be built as an addition to North Memorial.

“We’ll go to tender in the next month or so,” adds Cuddington. “The drawings are being finalized with the architecture and with public school’s finance. We’re hoping to have a construction start by the end of the school year.”

Cuddington says they’ll have more of a total dollar value once the tenders come in for the project and expect things to be complete before the next school year. 

Ramp up PCI

Also discussed Tuesday night was the Federal Accessibility Grant the school division will be receiving for some upcoming work at Portage Collegiate Institute. 

PLPSD received a $50,000 federal grant from Employment and Social Development Canada to help make the entrance to the Prince Charles building more accessible for all students, as there currently isn’t a ramp or lift at the main entrance to the building.

“We were approved for the grant that we applied for in July,” says Cuddington. “It’s a simple grant to improve accessibility in public spaces and it helped out because our budget was a little tighter than we expected.”

The Prince Charles building’s entrance isn’t in the best of shape. There is an elevator inside of the building but Cuddington says it is a bit antiquated. 

“We felt having a ramp off the main entrance is a really important piece,” he adds. “So we’re working with an architectural firm and they’re going to develop something for us.”

The project should get started toward the end of the school year.


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