If all goes according to plan, as of the fall of 2023, students will be welcomed to a brand new English elementary school in the Saint-Romuald district of Lévis.
The QCT has obtained details of plans for the new school to be built on a large expanse of land on Chemin du Sault, the former site of a religious community centre. A large pyramid on the site will be refurbished and transformed into a gymnasium for the as-yet-unnamed school.
Benoît Sévigny, director of buildings and equipment for the Central Québec School Board (CQSB), said that with several steps still to be completed in the design and planning process, construction should begin in late March.
He said a three-month cushion has been included in the construction timeline to allow for possible delays due to labour or material shortages. The target for delivery of the completed building is June 2023, allowing time for staff to prepare for the inaugural term in the new school in late August.
The building of a new CQSB elementary school on the south shore is part of a two-pronged strategy to address the needs of a growing student population on the south shore, all of whom currently need to be transported by bus across the bridges to St. Vincent School in Sainte-Foy.
The board hopes easier access to a new school will encourage parents on the booming south shore with English school eligibility to enrol their children at the new facility.
The other aspect of the plan calls for St. Vincent to be demolished to make way for a new high school to be built on the site, combining the student populations currently in the aging downtown buildings of Quebec High School and St. Patrick’s High School. Plans are moving forward on what’s known as The Project, with an anticipated opening in fall 2026.
The Lévis school will have between 280 and 300 students, according to board projections, Sevigny said. Students from the north shore who attend St. Vincent will be assigned to other CQSB schools in the city. Currently, some 170 students at St. Vincent are in that category, Sevigny said.
The school design includes a semi-enclosed area between the pyramid and the main school building which will have two stories, with the possibility of expansion. Sevigny said the pyramid is an older structure made mostly of wood, but in very good condition.
Sevigny said, “It was clear for us when we first looked at the land [that] we would incorporate the [pyramid] building” in the school project. A grant was available to preserve the structure. Work will need to be done on the roof and the interior to convert it into a multi-purpose gymnasium with bleachers.
The main entrance foyer has extensive window space, giving it an airy and spacious look. There will be a separate entrance to the gymnasium for public access outside school hours.
The building is budgeted at $20 million, including $3.5 million for the land. While unique in design, it conforms to standards for classroom size and other standards set by the Quebec ministry of education. Its exterior look must also contain a certain amount of official fleur-de-lis blue to identify it as a public school under provincial authority.