The province gave the green light for a new public elementary school in north Kanata on Monday, Jan. 14.
As well, Earl of March Secondary School and South March Public School are both slated for expansions, as is Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School in Barrhaven and Mutchmor Public School in the Glebe.
The province is providing $47.9 million of capital funding for the Ottawa public school board.
Northern Kanata has long been in need of more spaces for students.
“Now the province has recognized that,” said Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson.
The new elementary school will house kindergarten students up to Grade 6, said Wilkinson. The location of the school hasn’t been determined yet, she added.
South March will receive a 10-room expansion and an addition for grades 7 and 8 students will be constructed at Earl of March.
“My understanding is they’re going to build a (grades) 7 and 8 attachment closer to The Parkway,” Wilkinson said during her ward council meeting on Jan. 14.
A north Kanata accommodation review committee spent more than a year researching and debating various solutions to the overcrowding of public schools in the area. More than 800 extra seats were said to be needed for September 2012 and 1,750 required by 2014.
A plan to ease the overcrowding – which included a new school, and the additions for South March and Earl of March, was approved by Ottawa public school board trustees in April last year.
Former Kanata trustee Cathy Curry presented a motion that included approval for a new elementary school for Kanata north along with an eight-room addition at South March Public School and an addition to the Earl of March Secondary School.
“This is great news for our students, staff and community,” said Bronwyn Funiciello, vice-chair of the school board, in a press release. “The board of trustees worked very hard to develop a capital priorities list that reflected the diversity of capital needs in our district. Today’s announcement will provide great opportunities for innovation in our learning environments.”
Construction is set to begin in 2014, with opening dates the following year if everything runs according to plan, said the school board in a press release.
Donna Blackburn, the trustee for Barrhaven, said prior to the official announcement she was excited about the possibility of an expansion of the school in her area.
“I think everyone in the community worked really hard to see this project become a reality,” she said. “The process worked.”
Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi announced the funding at Mutchmor Public School.
“I’m pleased that the students at the Ottawa Carleton District School Board will benefit from our investments to provide better school buildings,” Naqvi said in a press release. “We know that when students are in good learning environments, they can focus on their learning.”
The province’s Minister of Education, Laurel Broten said the funding would ensure students would have safe and modern places to learn and grow.
“Investing in our schools is critical to helping every student reach his or her full potential and succeed,” she said.
- With files from David Johnston and Jennifer McIntosh