SASKATCHEWAN PPP for 18 new schools will save taxpayers $100 million, government says

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The provincial government says a public-private partnership (PPP) to construct 18 new schools will save taxpayers $100 million and deliver them earlier than if they were constructed the traditional way.

Gordon Wyant, the minister responsible for SaskBuilds, said in December that the project is the “largest publicly owned and operated school project in Saskatchewan’s history,” and that the schools are needed to accommodate “unprecedented” population growth.

The province has selected the Joint- Use Mutual Partnership (JUMP) as its PPP partner. Members are:

• Concert Infrastructure Ltd. (British Columbia);

• Bird Capital Limited Partnerships/Bird DesignBuild Construction Inc. (Ontario);

• Wright Construction Western Inc. (Saskatoon);

• Kindrachuck Agrey Architecture (Saskatoon);

• Johnson Controls Canada LP (United States, with Canadian offices); and

• GEC Architecture (Alberta).

Accounting firm KPMG reported in a value for money assessment that the PPP model will save about $100 million and allow the schools to open six to nine years earlier.

“When the schools open in September of 2017, it will be a breath of fresh air and will cause some relief on the pressure on classroom sizes and enrollment in those neighbourhoods,” Saskatoon Public Schools board chair Ray Morrison said. Eight schools will be constructed at four sites in Stonebridge, Rosewood, Evergreen and Hampton Village.

Catholic school board chair Diane Boyko says the new schools will take overcrowding pressure off schools like St. Peters, which also borders Hampton Village.

Wyant said making construction and maintenance the responsibility of the PPP partners takes the province off the hook for risks associated with unplanned maintenance and construction costs.

“These schools will not only be built in a quicker period of time, they will be maintained by the proponent team over a 30-year period,” he said.

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