The Ontario government is investing $550 million to build 20 new schools and eight permanent school additions across the province in 2020-21.
“Our government is doing everything possible to ensure our students can achieve lifelong success,” said Premier Doug Ford.
“That’s why we made a significant commitment to fix our schools and ensure students and staff have access to the best classrooms, with features like modern ventilation systems and high-speed Internet access. During construction, these projects will create hundreds of jobs and contribute significantly to our economic recovery.”
The announcement was made at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto, where the Toronto Catholic District School Board will receive $24 million from the Capital Priorities Program to create 620 new student spaces through upgrades to the existing building infrastructure.
“This government firmly believes that all children deserve to learn in state-of-the-art, modern, technologically connected and accessible schools,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “We will continue to take action to ensure students are safe today and well into the future by approving more new school buildings and permanent additions, and increasing access to childcare for working parents.”
Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School is one of the oldest historic institutions in Toronto and funding will create 620 new student spaces while preserving the heritage of this storied building.”
Another funded project is a $5.4 million expansion at Lake Simcoe Public School in Innisfil, just south of Barrie.
“These are not just investments in bricks and mortar; our government is investing in the future of our children by creating a better learning environment,” said Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin. “By building and upgrading these schools we are providing students with access to modern classroom settings and the latest technology which will lead to new opportunities and lifelong success.”
The addition includes 190 new elementary student spaces, 39 new licensed child-care spaces and two child-care rooms.
“This is very welcome news,” said trustee for Orillia-Ramara-Severn and school board chair Jodi Lloyd. “It’s an area of significant pressure due to enrolment and over capacity. We’re always very grateful for any investment in capital funding.”
The Simcoe Muskoka Public has also received $13.5 million for a new 593-pupil elementary school in Bradford West Gwillimbury and $5.9 million for a new facility to replace Shanty Bay Public School.
The government is investing over $12 billion in capital grants over 10 years, including $500 million in 2019-20 and the $550 million for 2020-21, and working with school boards to identify priority large-scale school-based capital projects.
School boards with successful projects will be notified by the Ministry of Education by Oct. 30.