$7.6M for innovative education
Four new classrooms for Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School
The Western Quebec School Board (WQSB) and the Lab-École initiative held its first Gatineau townhall meeting, March 27, at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School (PETES).
150 community members and parents of students attended to discuss the Lab-École renovations and school expansion.
Financed by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec, Lab-École will upgrade PETES, for $7.6M. This upgrade will result in four new classrooms, a new flexible common space, dedicated areas for collaboration, additional administrative spaces, a computer space and new locker room areas.
A new gym is to be added, with direct exterior access. A greenhouse, a larger community kitchen and a dining room, as well as different outdoor learning spaces are also planned.
The renovations should be done by September 2021, according to the Quebec government.
PETES is the only English school in Quebec chosen for the initiative and the only school in Outaouais. In Quebec, seven schools are taking part in the project. They are valued at a total of $60M.
The focus of the project is to think about what tomorrow’s education could look like, and how education can be improved. The trial includes creating a “living environment” that students appreciate. The trial includes creating a living environment based on renovating the school.
“The population of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School (PETES) is composed of a variety of ethnic origins, many of which are First Nations. The students who attend it can go through periods of emotional instability, due to a sometimes difficult family context,” Lab-École representatives noted on their website.
“We are delighted to be finally able to introduce the PETES Lab-École project and have a public discussion,” said Pascal Proulx, WQSB Director of Buildings, Technology and Archives.
One of the co-founders of the Lab-École founders, an architect, Pierre Thibault, was at the townhall meeting to answer questions.
Renowned chef Ricardo Larrivéé and the founder of the Défi Pierre Lavoie, Pierre Lavoie, are also behind Lab-École. The three of them answered questions, with Chef Ricardo saying: “A school doesn’t need to be like a hospital.”
“Schools have been using the same model for 50 years; we have not evolved as a society,” added Pierre Thibault. The Lab-École concept was launched across Quebec in 2017.