News Release Archive


Communities are beginning to see concrete benefits of a new
approach to school construction, with today's ground-breaking
ceremony for the province's first elementary school to be built
through public-private sector partnerships.

Porters Lake-Lake Echo Elementary, set to open next September,
will feature up-to-the-minute technology.  As well, the school
will be built with an open, flexible design to accommodate
enrolment growth and create a comfortable, welcoming environment
for students, teachers and visitors.

Education and Culture Minister Robbie Harrison, who used an
excavator instead of the traditional shovel, said the
ground-breaking ceremony was appropriate. "We're literally
breaking new ground in how we build schools in this province,"
Mr. Harrison said. "We're building better schools, more quickly,
and creating jobs in the process."

The private sector partner, Nova Learning Futures Inc., will keep
the technology current long after the school opens. Technology in
the school will include computers in every classroom, with
Internet access and networked for voice, video, data and e-mail
communications. Teachers can also access multi-media resources at
the touch of a button, without leaving the classroom. As
technology is continuously upgraded at Porters Lake-Lake Echo
Elementary, the existing technology will be shared with other
schools throughout the Halifax Regional School Board.

School board vice-chair Sheldon Doyle said this school represents
a true partnership. "The school board and government continue to
set the standards to ensure quality in the classroom, while the
private sector brings the very latest in innovation, design and
enhanced technology to the school." 

Nova Learning Futures Inc. president Bill Wade said when
government partners with the private sector, sustainable jobs are
created. "Together, the private sector and the province are
building and investing in a better future for Nova Scotia. As a
result of the expertise being developed in the province through
partnering on schools, Nova Scotia architects are currently
designing an international school in China. This will lead to
more jobs and further business opportunities for Nova Scotia."

The school is designed around a landscaped and skylit "village
square", where the common and community-oriented facilities are
located. These include the main entry, library, labs, cafeteria,
gymnasium, theatre, and special rooms for art, music and small
group meetings. Oversized classrooms and corridors, and movable
walls, are other design features making the school more adaptable
to changing space and learning needs over the life of the school.

The Halifax-based consortium, Nova Learning Futures Inc., brings
together a team of experts, including Fairwyn Developments Ltd.,
Lydon Lynch Architects, Ellis-Don Atlantic Ltd., and Deloitte and
Touche. SHL Systemhouse, in collaboration with ABL Interaccess
Consulting Inc., is spearheading the technology planning for the


Contact: Donna MacDonald  902-424-2615
Denise Monchamp-Joudrey   902-423-8090
Cathy O'Connell           902-864-1928

trp                    Oct. 10, 1996 - 4:20 p.m.