Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, joined by Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, and Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre, announced that the Ontario government is making major investments to build and improve schools and create more licensed child care spaces across the province.
The government announced that two capital building programs representing $600 million in funding is being invested to support 78 school and child care related projects.
The newly approved Capital Priorities Program projects will create 19,700 new student spaces, and 1,525 new licensed child care spaces in schools. These new spaces will be supported by an investment of $565 million, which will see 26 new schools and 20 permanent additions and renovations built. In addition, the Ontario government will collaborate with several school boards in this round of Capital Priorities funding to expand solutions for accelerated school construction through a pilot project using modular construction methods. This will deliver efficiencies in construction and reduce build times so that students can take advantage of new and updated schools sooner.
The investment is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to provide $14 billion to support school construction over ten years. There are currently more than 300 child care and education building-related projects in development across Ontario with more than 100 actively under construction.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made safer schools a priority, which is why we continue to invest in modern and accessible learning spaces with improved ventilation,” said Lecce. “This investment is part of our multiyear plan to build, expand, and update schools and child care spaces across our province. It will leave a lasting legacy that benefits working families for years to come.”
An additional $42.6 million through the Early Years Capital Program will go toward renovations or additions of 32 child care centres located in schools across the province. This will create over 1,500 new licensed child care spaces to provide families with more options for their children.
“Our government is committed to Building Ontario and putting the necessary infrastructure in place that will help the young, bright minds of our province grow, learn, and develop,” added Surma.
The announcement was made at Elm Drive Public School in Mississauga. On April 8, 2020, the province announced that Peel District School Board received Approval to Proceed for a total funding allocation of $19.8 million to build a new school featuring 650 new student spaces, four child care rooms and one EarlyON Child and Family Centre room.
“We are thrilled that ground has been broken for this school and students will have the opportunity to learn from some of our great teachers at Elm Drive Public School,” said Rashmi Swarup, director of education for the Peel District School Board. ”
Featured image: Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre at the announcement at the site of the new Elm Drive Public School, Nov 23, 2021. (Twitter/@NatKusendova)