Manitoba turning to public-private model to build 9 new schools

The Manitoba government is building nine schools through a public-private partnership.

It’s a funding model the government rejected in 2018, but Government Services Minister James Teitsma said Friday the partnership this time is to allow the schools to be built quickly and at optimal value.

Teitsma says details of the partnership will be worked out, but one of the provisions will see the private sector bid on both the building and maintenance of the schools.

The Progressive Conservative government promised in 2019 to build a total of 20 schools over 10 years. Seven of those schools were already underway at that point.

The  province will now build three more schools on top of the 20 promised through a bundled public-private partnership procurement, Teitsma said.

The Progressive Conservative government studied private partnerships in 2018, but opted to build five schools the traditional way and said it would save money.

The nine schools being built through public-private partnership will be finished by 2027, the province said, and will include five in Winnipeg school divisions:

  • Two kindergarten to Grade 8 schools in Pembina Trails School Division.
  • Two kindergarten to Grade 8 schools in Seven Oaks School Division.
  • A kindergarten to Grade 8 school in River East Transcona School Division.

The other four will be:

  • A kindergarten to Grade 12 French school in the Franco-Manitoban School Division.
  • A kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Brandon School Division.
  • A Grade 9 to 12 vocational school in Beautiful Plains School Division.
  • A Grade 9 to 12 vocational school in Seine River School Division.