By Doug Hallett
The public school board is looking at speeding up the process in order to get a new school built by September 2014 on a south end site near Kortright Road East.
It normally takes 2 ½ years between approval of an initial school building report and the end of construction, says a staff report that goes to a meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board tonight (Aug. 28).
In this case “the process needs to be compressed” if the school is to be ready for occupancy in two years, when full-day kindergarten is supposed to be fully phased in across Ontario, the report says.Full-day kindergarten will “place significant pressure” on the board’s schools to accommodate the projected number of kindergarten students on an all-day, every-day basis, the report says.
The proposed two-storey, 41,000-sq.-ft. school on Zaduk Place is to have 449 pupil places and will take students from junior kindergarten to Grade 8. It’s to have four kindergarten classrooms with a capacity of 104 kindergarten students, as well as 15 smaller classrooms for 345 students in grades one to eight.
The provincial Ministry of Education has approved funding for this new south end school, the report says. The school’s $7.3-million budget is part of a huge building program that was approved in principle by the school board last fall.
This building program, which includes additions and other changes at many of the board’s schools, also includes the building of two other new schools in Guelph over the next two years. Laurine Avenue school is to be replaced by a larger school that’s to open in September 2013, and a brand new school is to open on Lee Street on the city’s eastern outskirts in September 2014 to relieve enrolment pressure on Ken Danby school.
A new school that opens Sept. 4 on the King George school site west of John F. Ross Collegiate will take Laurine Avenue school’s students during the coming school year, as well as some other students. During the 2013-14 school year, it will take many east end students who’ll attend the Lee Street school when it opens.
The new King George is expected to become a French immersion centre for junior kindergarten to Grade 8 students in September 2014, after being used as a “holding school” for the first two years that it’s open.