Construction starts for new wing at West Royalty Elementary

·2 min read
West Royalty Elementary’s new wing will expand the school’s capacity by 200 students, and is expected to be open by January 2022.  (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
West Royalty Elementary’s new wing will expand the school’s capacity by 200 students, and is expected to be open by January 2022. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

The principal of West Royalty Elementary in Charlottetown is "thrilled" that construction on the school's new wing is underway, soon to bring an end to overcrowding issues.

The new addition will include 10 classrooms as well as a mini-gym and breakout spaces, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021 with a price tag of $6.5 million, split between the provincial and federal governments.

"We really are very strapped for space here at West Royalty Elementary. So we're looking forward to the new addition," said principal Marilyn MacLean.

The school was built for 500 students, and this year enrolment is 535.

West Royalty Elementary principal Marilyn MacLean says having more space will make ‘a huge difference’ for the school.
West Royalty Elementary principal Marilyn MacLean says having more space will make ‘a huge difference’ for the school. (Laura Meader/CBC)

With the new wing, the school will be able to accommodate 700 students.

We are … working in entryways and hallways. So there is no space right now. — Marilyn MacLean, principal

MacLean said the new classrooms will make a big difference, but staff are especially looking forward to having more breakout space and a new gym.

"When we have somebody come into our school looking for space to use, whether it's our speech language pathologist, members of the student well-being team, our occupational therapist, anyone coming in, there's no space for them to use," said MacLean.

"We're taking other people's spaces and having people work elsewhere. We are also working in entryways and hallways. So there is no space right now."

This year, the school created extra space by adding two mobile classrooms for Grade 6 classes.

"They've certainly helped out in the short term. Not a long-term solution, but we've appreciated them for the year for sure," said MacLean.

MacLean has been the principal at West Royalty for seven years, and said the majority of that time, the school has been overcrowded.

The school's new addition will be where the bus parking is right now.
The school's new addition will be where the bus parking is right now.(Laura Meader/CBC)

She said many different people had a hand in making sure the addition got started.

"Staff have advocated for it, our parent community has been on board with us as well. And members of the legislative assembly have advocated as well," she said.

She said they hope to start using the space in January 2022.

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