French education and its impact on the Acadian and Francophone community in Charlottetown was celebrated at the grand opening ceremonies of the expansion and renovation of École François-Buote and the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean.
“École François-Buote and the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean is a state-of-the-art facility to celebrate and develop pride in the Acadian and Francophone community in Charlottetown,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan. “French education cannot exist without community support, and the Acadian and Francophone community cannot grow without French first language education, so it is imperative that governments work together to support initiatives like this.”
Construction on the school and community centre in its current location began in 1991. By 2012, the school population had grown to 300 students, leading to an expansion and renovation that began in 2012 and finished in late 2015.
With an investment of over $10 million from the provincial and federal governments, the renovation and expansion resulted in 54,000 square feet of new and renovated space, including 12,000 square feet for the community.
This includes two new classrooms and a trades technology section for technical education, carpentry, motor vehicle repair and welding, along with a new high school wing, expansion of the gym and cafeteria, and a new science lab, and a new music room.
The community center benefited from new and renovated space for the Early Years Centre, the Before and After School program, community offices and meeting rooms, as well as improvements to kitchen storage and the lounge area.
“The Canadian Francophonie is a treasure. I am very proud that my department plays a leading role in the development of official-language minority communities,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. “I am also very pleased about this partnership with Prince Edward Island for the benefit of the province’s Francophone and Acadian community.”
Government is continuing investments in French language education and community spaces through the upcoming renovation and expansion of École la Belle Cloche in Rollo Bay.