Ontario announces $600 million plan to build new schools and accelerate construction projects

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government says it will spend $600 million to build and improve schools and create more licensed childcare spaces across the province. The funding will support 78 school and childcare-related projects.

The newly approved Capital Priorities Program projects will create 19,700 new student spaces, and 1,525 new licensed childcare spaces in schools.

A total of $565 million will fund construction of 26 new schools along with 20 permanent additions and renovations.

In addition, the Ontario government will collaborate with several school boards in this round of capital priorities funding to accelerate school construction through a pilot project using modular construction methods. This will deliver efficiencies in construction and reduce build times so that students can take advantage of new and updated schools sooner.

lecce
Stephen Lecce

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made safer schools a priority, which is why we continue to invest in modern and accessible learning spaces with improved ventilation,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

This investment is part of our multiyear plan to build, expand, and update schools and childcare spaces across our province. It will leave a legacy that benefits working families for years to come.”

An additional $42.6 million through the Early Years Capital Program will go toward renovations or additions of 32 childcare centres located in schools across the province

“Our government is committed to building Ontario and putting the necessary infrastructure in place that will help the young, bright minds of our province grow, learn, and develop,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure.

Today’s announcement was made at Elm Drive Public School in Mississauga. On April 8, 2020, the province announced that Peel District School Board received approval to proceed for a total funding allocation of $19.8 million to build a new school featuring 650 new student spaces, four child care rooms and one EarlyON Child and Family Centre room.

For 2021-22, the province is also providing school boards with $1.4 billion in funding to renew and maintain existing schools.

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) will work closely with the province and school boards to explore using an accelerated approach to school construction. IO is working with ministries and other broader public sector partners to help deliver vital infrastructure – including Long-Term Care homes and correctional facilities – smarter, better and faster than traditional methods.

“We are thrilled that ground has been broken for this school and students will have the opportunity to learn from some of our great teachers at Elm Drive Public School. We are also pleased that parents and caregivers with young children will be able to have wonderful experiences in the EarlyON Child and Family Centre,” said Rashmi Swarup, director of education at the Peel District School Board.

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