After an explosion in the costs of its flagship commitment, the Legault government no longer seeks to know the bill for the new 4-year-old kindergarten premises. He sticks to the average cost to build a classroom, which is now $1.2 million.
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During the election campaign, François Legault put his seat on the line for his promise to offer 4-year-old kindergarten to all children in Quebec.
The CAQ then estimated the erection of a new preschool class at $120,000. After the reality check, however, the government had to admit that the bill was more like $800,000. The opposition had denounced loud and clear the stubbornness of the caquists.
Verification made, Quebec has simply stopped calculating the cost of construction of premises welcoming 4-year-old children.
“Since 2020, the Ministry (of Education) no longer isolates requests for additional space specifically aimed at 4-year-old kindergarten, specifies the spokesperson, Bryan St-Louis. It is therefore not possible to obtain a cost per class for 4-year-old kindergarten.
The publicist underlines that the investments are granted per project for a total number of classes, and not according to the school level.
Average cost on the rise
If we rely on the school construction and expansion projects announced between 2019 and 2021, the average cost per class is now “around $1.2 million,” adds Mr. St-Louis.
Obviously, several factors can influence the bill. Thus, the development of a classroom from an existing room does not require the same investment as the construction of a space in itself. Same thing if the realization of a gymnasium is included or not in a project.
Often, 4-year-old kindergarten classes are equipped with a toilet and a sink, which is not the case for rooms dedicated to teaching older students.
Like other sectors, the education network is not spared from overheating in the construction industry. The Journal recently revealed that the cost of Lab-School projects has increased. In some cases, the bill reaches $2.3 million per class.
It should be noted that the projects developed by the Lab-School provide for a larger area than a conventional school, allowing students to move more and facilitating group activities.