The Ontario Government has announced new funding for the Kemptville Public and North Grenville District High schools. Local MPP, Steve Clark brought the good news to the municipality last Friday, with almost $10 million to give to the Upper Canada District School Board [UCDSB].
The Board has been given the go-ahead to seek tenders for a $7.2 million addition to the North Grenville District High School, and a $2.7-million expansion of Kemptville Public School. One of the problems newly-built schools have in Ontario is that funding is based on enrolment at the time the decision is made to build. By the time the new school opens, enrolment has usually increased and the new regime begins with students in portables.
The funding announced by Steve Clark means that the NGDHS will be able to supply classrooms for an extra 221 students, which will make the learning experience somewhat better for the young people.
The funding for KPS will be used to provide 49 new child care spaces, three new child care rooms as well as two EarlyON Child and Family Centre rooms.
“The nearly $10 million our government is providing for these critical projects in one of Eastern Ontario’s fastest-growing communities demonstrates our commitment to supporting students, parents and educators. Whether they are just starting their educational journey or preparing to choose a career path, we want students to have the best learning environment possible,” said Steve Clark when making the announcement. “As our government makes record investments in education, I’m proud to be a strong voice to ensure they are benefitting families and communities here in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.”
“The Upper Canada District School Board is thrilled to receive the news of this funding. Our community in Kemptville is growing and the addition to North Grenville District High School is one that will be well received and appreciated by students and parents,” said John McAllister, Chair of the Upper Canada District School Board. “More child care spaces and an ONLearning Centre at Kemptville Public School will allow the school to enhance relationships with parents and give us the ability to show off our great facility. It’s also an opportunity to deepen our connections with the community. What a wonderful way to start 2020.”
North Grenville Mayor, Nancy Peckford, also welcomed the new funding: “As a rapidly growing community, we are highly encouraged by the province’s commitment to expand capacity at North Grenville District High School, and to build a new and larger child care facility at Kemptville Public School. These investments will go a long way to supporting many families and students in North Grenville.”
Steve emphasised that the funding announcement was part of the government’s commitment to provide nearly $13 billion in capital grants for school projects over the next 10 years to advance student learning. “That includes allocating over $500 million this year alone for new schools, additions and major renovations”, he said.
Tenders will be sought by the UCDSB in the near future so as to have the expansion work completed as soon as possible, ideally before the start of the next school year.