Division applying for portables for Humboldt schools

With both Humboldt Collegiate Institute and Humboldt Public School above capacity, the Horizon School Division is applying for portables.

The decision was made at the Oct. 10 board of education meeting.

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“Our population in both facilities has continued to go up over the last few years. We haven’t seen any sort of stability that way,” said Kevin Garinger, the division's director of education. “Every year it’s going up and up and up and now at HCI we might be over 400 children for the first time in a long, long time. The same at HPS. Our numbers go up at the public school and having space for our kids is critical there as well.”

According to a formula used by the provincial education ministry, HCI is at 115 per cent capacity, while HPS is at 106. In practical terms, being above 100 per cent doesn’t mean a school is filled to the brim, as the formula doesn’t necessarily count gathering spaces or some of the technical arts classrooms.

The education ministry starts thinking about providing portables to schools when they reach the 140 or 150 per cent mark. If the ministry approves the request, they would pay for the portables.

Garinger said the division isn’t expecting to receive new portable immediately with the application. The idea is to build a case for them in the future.

“Once we get them in the queue, then when they see our continuous need, that may spur on the response to eventually get a couple portables when it becomes more critical.”

School divisions can also choose to pay for the portables themselves. That's what Horizon is planning to do for a portable at Wadena Elementary.

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