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Almaguin Highlands Secondary School now open for business

Nipissing MPP Monique Smith News Release ******************** The Honourable Monique Smith, MPP for Nipissing, joined local dignitaries and members of the Near North District School Board staff to celebrate the opening of the new Almaguin Highlands S
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Nipissing MPP Monique Smith
News Release

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The Honourable Monique Smith, MPP for Nipissing, joined local dignitaries and members of the Near North District School Board staff to celebrate the opening of the new Almaguin Highlands Secondary School.

The funding for the new Almaguin Highlands Secondary School was announced by MPP Smith in June 2007. The province has invested over $24.4 million in the construction of the school in South River. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in June 2010 with students and members of the Near North District School Board.

The new Almaguin Highlands Secondary School features a two storey facility with many "green" features incorporated into the design. All of these initiatives are designed to optimize the energy performance of the school in addition to providing superior air quality for students and staff of the Near North District School Board. These initiatives are as follows:

• The school has been oriented to minimize exposure to northern winds and maximize interior daylight.

• Classrooms have natural daylight and ventilation.

• The gymnasium is located to allow for natural ventilation.

• Storm-water harvesting and grey-water management systems will help minimize impact on the local water table.

• Through the energy efficient heat pump system and cooling tower, heat will be transferred from areas requiring cooling to areas requiring heating.

• All indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures are energy efficient and controlled by occupancy sensors.

• The school has a light reflective roof as well as a compact floor plate with a two story design to reduce the size of the roof, thereby diminishing the absorption of heat.

• The facility has garbage and recycling collection within the building as part of the school programming.

From top to bottom, the new Almaguin Highlands Secondary School has been designed with environmental efficiency in mind and is the most basic example of the three R's - Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle.

The new Almaguin Highlands Secondary School is a Life Long Learning Centre of Excellence, which includes a sports field and running track. A network of existing four season trails will provide the surrounding communities with a state of the art educational and environmental centre. The school was designed through a consultative process which included and incorporated design workshops with educational partners, community stakeholders, educators, students and members of the general public.

Investing in students through new and improved schools is an important part of the McGuinty government's commitment to strengthening and improving Ontario's publicly funded education system.

“I am delighted to celebrate the opening of the new Almaguin Highlands Secondary School with the students and families of the Almaguin region,” said Monique Smith, MPP for Nipissing. “The Ministry of Education has shown tremendous support for this new school, which is incredibly important to this region.”

“Today, the Near North District School Board would formally like to recognize and thank our Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament, Monique Smith and the Government of Ontario for their tremendous support and major financial contribution that resulted in the opening of our first secondary school in over 40 years. The surrounding communities, staff and students are the benefactors of a modern, environmentally friendly building that will be a showcase in the region for many years,” said Paul Moffat, Interim Acting Director of Education for the Near North District School Board.

QUICK FACTS

• Based on international test scores and evaluation, Ontario has one of the top 10 education systems in the world.

• Across Ontario, 43 new schools will be built, along with another 30 schools receiving additions or retrofits to help meet the needs of our communities.

• Since 2002-03, the number of students meeting the provincial standards for literacy and numeracy has increased from 54 per cent to 68 per cent.

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