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East end scores second school

The province has announced funding to build another public school in Guelph’s rapidly growing east end, as well as $12 million for upgrades to the city’s public high schools.
A site hasn’t been chosen yet for the new school, but it will be on the eastern outskirts of Guelph, Maggie McFadzen, communications officer for the Upper Grand District School Board, said Friday.
The new school, which is to deal with overcrowding issues and is supposed to be ready to open in September 2015, was announced Friday by Education Minister and local MPP Liz Sandals.
It will follow another new school on the eastern outskirts, which is set to open in September of 2014. This school on Lee Street is being built to relieve enrolment pressures at the east end’s Ken Danby school. The Lee Street school’s students are being bused this year to King George school, before going to their new school in the fall.
“Just look at the way the east end is growing, and it is families that are going there,” McFadzen noted in an interview.
The province has given the school board $10 million for the new east end school, she said. The board hasn’t yet decided if French immersion will be offered there, she said.
Sandals held a news conference at Guelph Collegiate to announce a total of $26.8 million in funding for Upper Grand schools.
Her announcement included money for renovations at GCVI, Centennial Collegiate, John F. Ross Collegiate and College Heights Secondary School to “address program upgrades,” a news release said. The high school upgrades are to be completed by 2016-17.
McFadzen said a total of $12 million is going to these high school upgrades in Guelph, with $4.8 million going to a 236-pupil addition to a new school currently under construction in Orangeville.
The school projects announced Friday will give students better places to learn while also creating local construction jobs, the release said.
“Our government is supporting the construction of safe, modern facilities that meet the needs of students and school staff” at the Upper Grand board, Sandals said in the release.
“We are very pleased that the Ministry of Education is continuing to approve our plans for construction and renewal of school facilities in Upper Grand,” board chair Mark Bailey said in the release.
As well, the renovation projects at the high schools “will make possible new and ambitious programs in our schools,” Bailey said.
Since 2003, the Upper Grand board has received about $207 million in capital funding, the release said. Also since 2003, the province has spent a total $12 billion on school infrastructure in Ontario, including nearly 650 new schools, it said.

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