(On June 25, 2021 the provincial government announced the approval to go to tender for construction of the new Fernbank Elementary School in Stittsville. Present for the announcement were l-r foreground: Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton; Hon. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education; Lynn Scott, Trustee and Chair of the OCDSB Board; l-r background: Shawn Lehman, Superintendent of Instruction and Councillor Glen Gower. All photos: Stittsville Central.)
The Ontario government has provided $17.5 million to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) to proceed with the tender for the new Fernbank Elementary School in Stittsville. The announcement was made by the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce in Stittsville on June 25th. Also in attendance for the announcement were Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton; Councillor Glen Gower; Lynn Scott, Trustee and Chair of the OCDSB Board; and Shawn Lehman, Superintendent of Instruction.
The new school will provide 628 elementary student spaces, 39 new licensed child care spaces, and 2 new child care rooms. This project is part of the province’s capital investment program to support students with better learning spaces.
During her opening words, Goldie Ghamari recalled the time she met with the Fernbank Community Association and the conversation she had with members on the importance of a growing neighbourhood to have a local school ‘stuck in her mind’ after being elected. She is pleased to be able to bring a new school to the community.
“Local, accessible public education is important to me, and this investment in our Stittsville students shows the great value our government places on learning and on the success of children in Carleton,” said Ghamari. “Fernbank Elementary School will provide a quality, modern learning environment for students. I’m pleased that the school also includes more child care spaces and child care rooms that promote early learning opportunities for the future leaders of Carleton.”
Minister Lecce in his remarks said, “it was amazing to finally be in Stittsville,” also saying that “the priority for the government is for families in communities to have new schools.” He pointed out that since being elected, “Goldie has announced funding for five new schools throughout her riding.” “With this $17.5 million announcement we are excited to move the new Fernbank Elementary School forward to tender. Progress is being made with new schools being built with a focus on the long-term benefit for children and I am pleased to be able to partner with the school board.”
Councillor Glen Gower told the group, “healthy communities mean a close proximity to services, shops and schools all being in walkable reach. The school is a community facility, not only a place of learning. This funding milestone today is a sign of what a school can add to a healthy neighbourhood.”
Pleased to see Minister Lecce personally making his announcement, OCDSB Trustee Lynn Scott said, “With many questions from local residents as to why their kids are bussed to Kanata, I am pleased the government is keeping up with new growth. Through working with the Minister and the local MPP, we received our funding.” “I’m very pleased to be proceeding with construction of this school to serve the rapidly growing Fernbank communities – it will relieve significant overcrowding at neighbouring schools, and give the children of this community a school they can truly call their own.” She also invited Minister Lecce to return for the official opening of the Fernbank Elementary School.
Shawn Lehman, Superintendent of Instruction commented, “I’m looking forward to building this new school that allows students to engage in learning. Now we can proceed and soon see shovels in the ground.”
Dan Bradley, Manager of Facilities, and Karyn Ostafichuk, Manager of Planning will be responsible for overseeing the project.
The new Fernbank Elementary School will be located at 480 Cope Drive at Rouncey Road in Stittsville.
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