Ontario approves $4.7 million for new Forest school land

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The provincial government will spend $4.7 million to buy property in Forest where the Lambton Kent District school board will build its first junior kindergarten through Grade 12 school, including 24 daycare spaces.

The 19.5-acre site is located next to the Shores Recreation Centre near Highway 21.

Ontario previously approved $27.4 million for construction of the new school expected to accommodate over 1,000 students.

“This is great news for the community and families,” said Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s labour minister and MPP for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, which includes Forest. “We’re making investments in rural communities and building modern facilities to serve families for generations to come.”

The new school will replace North Lambton secondary school, Aberarder Central school, Bosanquet Central school and Kinnwood Central school.

“We are pleased to move forward with the next stage of planning for the site design and ground=breaking for the new kindergarten to Grade 12 school,” said school board director John Howitt.

Along with the 24 daycare spaces, the new school will have two EarlyON rooms providing programs for families and children from birth to six years old.

The pandemic slowed the process of selecting a school site and getting approval from the ministry for the land’s purchase, said Brian McKay, the school board’s superintendent of business.

Building the school is expected to be a two-year project once the design is completed and approved by the ministry and a construction contract signed, the board has said.

The project will be the first combined elementary and secondary school in Lambton County and Chatham-Kent.

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