The province of Ontario has announced funding for 28 new school projects this year, but a public high school in Stittsville won’t be one of them.
Last May, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) placed the project at the top of their priority list for capital funding from province.
The Ministry of Education announced funding for three Ottawa-area school projects on Friday, but none of the public board’s priority projects have been approved due to a “lack of immediate need”, according to the Ministry.
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“I’ve double-checked with our staff, and to the best of our knowledge, the OCDSB has not been allocated any capital funds at this time,” school board trustee Lynn Scott told StittsvilleCentral.ca via email this afternoon.
“Needless to say, this is very disappointing news, particularly for Stittsville, where a public high school for Stittsville is the #1 priority on the capital priorities list approved by the OCDSB last June, having been one of our capital priorities since 2006,” she said.
A ministry spokesperson provided this response: “The Ottawa-Carleton DSB submitted a business case for a Grade 7 to 12 secondary school in Stittsville. With local schools having the capacity to accommodate the enrolment demands of the Stittsville area, this project was not considered for funding at this time due to a lack of an immediate need as identified by the Ministry. Ministry staff have asked the board to explore alternatives to the proposed solution to address the growing population in the area. No further capital approval announcements are expected for the Ottawa-Carleton DSB for this round of Capital Priorities.”
Earlier this year parents launched a campaign and petition to convince the provincial government to fund the public high school. Hundreds of names were collected in a petition that was presented by MPP Lisa Macleod to the provincial legislature.
The three projects receiving the green light today from the Ministry of Education include:
- A new gymnasium and an addition for 210 students to École secondaire publique De La Salle to relieve accommodation pressure.
- A new French-language secondary school for 404 students to address the needs of the board’s secondary students in Barrhaven/Riverside South.
- An addition for 230 students to Holy Redeemer Catholic Elementary School to relieve accommodation pressure in Kanata.
— John Fraser (@JohnFraserOS) October 28, 2016
The Ministry of Education also provided this information through a spokesperson:
“Through the 2016 Capital Priorities Program, the ministry is providing $474 million in funding to support 51 capital projects across Ontario, including 28 new schools and 23 major additions and renovations. This investment will ensure students are learning in high-quality, modern buildings that can better support their achievement and well-being.
“In 2016, we received 205 capital priority requests totalling approximately $2.6 billion. With the amount of funding available to the ministry, unfortunately we could not accommodate them all and difficult decisions needed to be made.
“Over the past several months, the ministry has undertaken a detailed review of each business case to understand the needs of each school board across the province. All submissions were evaluated using a number of criteria, to determine how the allocations should be distributed. Among the considerations were the urgency of the project within the next three years and the priority ranking identified by the board. These priority projects are meant to address enrolment pressures, facility condition, consolidations, and constitutional language requirements.”