A few schools with the Keewatin Patricia District School Board will be getting a face lift in the new year. Getting the schools up to date and working to suit the needs of students and staff is something the board takes very seriously.

Director of Education Sean Monteith said they don't go into capital projects lightly.

"A lot of thought and process goes into this. The Ear Falls capital project is a complete rebuild of that school, when it was originally build in 1970. It has not been touched, more or less, since then. So, I use that as an example because $5 million is a lot of money," he said.

Sioux Lookout's new high school was first on their priority list, followed by the school in Ear Falls, and renovations at Beaver Brae in Kenora.

Beaver Brae is due to receive a $6 million upgrade to the tech wing, parking lot and field, with construction scheduled to start in February 2019. 

Monteith added that a lot of time also goes into planning and prioritizing for larger capital projects, like Ear Falls. Building a new school can take up to 5 years, beginning from the design process. 

On board's radar for the new year is a new building for Valleyview Public School in Kenora.

"There will be discussions immediately in the new year about Valleyview Public School. In an ideal world, I would hope to see a new school there in the next few years. Hopefully, in 5 to 6 years, we might have a brand new school there, because that's how long it takes," he said.

Monteith explained where they're at. 

"Everything is ready to go. I can't say about a design/drawing process, because that hasn't been. But it is a high priority. It's just a matter of getting agreement with the provincial government saying we're ready. The board isn't going into this discussion empty handed, we have $4 million," he said.

Enrolment at Valleyview has doubled from 2013 to 2018, according to the board. 

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