New high schools among priorities in provincial call for capital funding
By Manotick Messenger
TThe Government of Ontario launched the 2019-20 Capital Priorities program, which provides school boards with the opportunity to access funding for large-scale projects in every region of the province.
“We are investing in our students and their futures by building new schools and renovating existing schools because I believe better schools mean better learning environments for the next generation,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.
School boards can now apply for funding for capital projects including new school buildings or renovations to be completed by 2023-24. The program will also provide funding for school-based child care spaces as part of the government’s commitment to build up to 10,000 new child care spaces in schools.
“I’m very excited to make this announcement to constituents in my riding,” said Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton. “I grew up on the public education system, and building new public schools, especially a new public high school in Riverside South, has been one of my top priorities since coming to office.”
The future Riverside South high school will have an impact on high schools in the area. Students are bused out of the community to a number of different schools, including Merivale and even South Carleton. A shuffling after the school is built could also alleviate some of the crowding in Barrhaven’s public high schools.
The Stittsville high school, meanwhile, will have a direct impact on the community as it will alleviate potential crowding issues at South Carleton High School in Richmond. With the planned development growth in Richmond and Manotick over the next two decades, a Stittsville high school would create some space that will be needed at South Carleton.
“Of the 8 Capital Priorities projects listed by the OCDSB, four of them are located in my riding of Carleton, with the top two located in Stittsville and Riverside South. Throughout the year, I’ve been working hard to ensure that the Ministry of Education has been made aware of the need for new schools in the Ottawa area, including helping to organize and deliver a petition with over 2,500 signatures informing the Minister of Education of the need to build a new public high school in Riverside South,” MPP Ghamari said.
“Now, it’s up to the OCDSB and local officials to ensure that these applications are submitted properly and on time. I’ve reached out and spoken with OCDSB and local officials, offering my assistance in any way possible. I will continue to advocate on behalf of the residents of Carleton, and look forward to acting as a liaise between the OCDSB, municipal politicians and the Ministry of Education. This is very exciting news and I’m thrilled to see that our government is investing in what matters most: the future of our children,” said MPP Ghamari.
“This government is taking decisive action to ensure students have safe and modern learning environments that enable their success in the classroom, in life, and in the labour market,” added Lecce.
Ontario’s 2019 Budget, Protecting What Matters Most, highlights the government’s commitment to providing students with safe and healthy learning environments and providing families with more child care options.
The government announced in Budget 2019 that over the next ten years, Ontario is investing nearly $13 billion in capital grants.
This funding will build new schools and help existing schools replace aging heating or air conditioning systems, repair roofs and windows, and install important accessibility features like elevators and ramps, and support the expansion of child care spaces.
The Ministry of Education invites school boards to submit their top 10 school-based capital priorities for funding consideration. These are the school boards’ highest priority capital projects required within the next three years. The Ministry of Education reviews all Capital Priorities submissions for eligibility and announces successful projects annually.