The French School Board of Eastern Ontario (CEPEO) will be making a significant investment in the renovation of several buildings at Kemptville College over the next year.
Stéphane Vachon, the Business Superintendent for the CEPEO, says all the funding will be coming from the Ministry of Education as they had already been promised $12.5 million to build a new French School in Kemptville. Now that they have decided to renovate the Roarke and Gibson buildings at the Kemptville College instead of building, Stéphane says the budget will have to be renegotiated.
“Since it’s a long term agreement with the Agriculture Research Institute of Ontario, and then eventually with the North Grenville Municipality, we will be having discussions on what is the Ministry of Education’s responsibility and what is the owner’s responsibility.”
Despite some significant updates that need to be made for the buildings to be appropriate for elementary and secondary students, Stéphane says choosing to invest in the campus is still the best decision for the CEPEO on multiple levels. “Firstly, that renovating a building is one of the best things they can do for the environment, which is very important to us. The CEPEO is proud to say they are the only school board with the ISO14001 certification, which looks at the environmental impact of all their procedures and how they run their facilities. Stéphane says they will be operating within these parameters with all the renovations. “[The rules] also apply to all of our subcontractors.”
Stéphane is also excited about all the facilities which will be at the disposal of the school’s students come September. There is no way that they could have included the tennis court, greenhouse, soccer fields and sugar bush that the Campus has had they chosen to build a new school.
The Power and Equipment Building, where the school’s first students will be studying this fall while renovations are underway, just needs to be cleaned up and adjusted slightly to accommodate the younger crowd it will host in September. The CEPEO officially received their keys on Friday and the school’s principal, Josée Bedard, is now at the building welcoming parents wanting to enroll their children for the next school year. Their goal is to have 100 students attending the school for the 2016/17 school year.