Province Provides Funding for New Elementary School, Library and Community Centre in Southwest Brantford

Grand Erie District School Board and the City of Brantford are welcoming an announcement made yesterday by Will Bouma, MPP for Brant-Brantford, that will see the Government of Ontario invest $16.3 million towards the construction of a new elementary school in the fast-growing area of Shellard Lane in southwest Brantford.

“These are not just investments in bricks and mortar, our government is investing in the future of our children by creating a better learning environment,” said Bouma. “By building this new school, we are providing students with access to modern classroom settings and the latest technology, which will lead to new opportunities and lifelong success.”

The new Grand Erie elementary school will welcome 650 new students as well as 64 new child care spaces.

“Shellard Lane is an area where we’re seeing extensive growth, with new families joining our board daily,” said Board Chair Greg Anderson. “We’re delighted our new school will be the centrepiece of this fantastic community investment.”

The new school, which will be built near the corner of Shellard Lane and McGuiness Drive, will be a joint project with the City of Brantford and will feature a new public library and community centre.

“I am thrilled that the province is supporting the City of Brantford with an investment of over $16 million to build a new school with an adjoining Library and Community Centre in the southwest,” said Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis. “As one of the fastest growing areas in the city, this is such welcome news, and also consistent with a new approach that the City is developing to bring services closer to communities through our network of Community Centres. On behalf of a grateful community, I want to thank MPP Will Bouma for his advocacy on our community’s behalf and the province for their continued support.”

Grand Erie currently has two elementary schools in southwest Brantford – Ryerson Heights and Walter Gretzky – both of which are overcapacity, so the announcement is welcome news to address accommodation needs for students.

“We look forward to working with our community partners to build a new school for our students, staff and families,” said JoAnna Roberto, Director of Education. “Creating new spaces for our students to learn aligns with our Multi-Year Plan and our focus on Success for Every Student.”

A timeline for the design and construction of the new school will be developed by Grand Erie and the City of Brantford over the next few months.

Funding for the school is part of a $550-million announcement Education Minister Stephen Lecce made earlier this week. In total, 20 new schools and eight permanent addition to existing schools, creating 16,000 student learning spaces, and 870 licensed child care spaces will be added across the province.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates that the Government of Ontario is listening to Brantford families and delivering real action on their behalf,” said Ontario’s Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “Grateful to MPP Bouma for his strong advocacy, as we build new schools and provide students with access to accessible, safe and modern classrooms with the latest technology so that students in rural parts of our province can get ahead.”

In 2019, the Ministry of Education launched the Capital Priorities Program, which called on school boards to submit business cases identifying their most urgent student accommodation needs. A new school in southwest Brantford was identified as a main priority for Grand Erie in order to alleviate the need for additional portable classrooms at Walter Gretzky Elementary School and Ryerson Heights Elementary School.

Grand Erie District School Board represents more than 18,000 students in 58 elementary schools and 7,700 students in 14 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk as well as secondary students from Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. With a dedicated staff of more than 2,500, Grand Erie remains committed to its goal of Success for Every Student.

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