While it's possible a new school being built in Cornwall could end up on the same lot as an existing facility that's slated for decommissioning, a local trustee said it's more likely a new site will be found.
Upper Canada Distrct School Board vice-chair David McDonald tols Seaway News in an interview its likely the new school that will be built in Cornwall over the next two years will find itself on a new piece of property.
The construction of the new school will see the consolidation of both East Front and Gladatone public schools. There has been some talk about building a new school on the north part of the existing East Front property, but McDonald said that scenario isn't likely to play out.
"We do need to stay in the east end," he said. "The land itself is a little wonky (at East Front) with the incline up the path.
"More than likely we will look at another site - a new site."
The board will be holding meetings, McDonald said, to determine what land is available.
Queen's Park gave the green light to build a new school in Cornwall when it announced funding of more than $700 million, which will help build and renovate dozens of schools and education facilities across the province.
Other local schools that will receive renovating includes St. Mary-St. Cecilia Catholic School in Morrisburg, which will undergo an expansion.
Ontario is building 39 new education facilities, and renovating another 48 schools.
“We are making the necessary investments in our schools to ensure that our students have safe, modern and accepting places to learn and grow,” said education minister Laurel Broten in a news release. “Investing in our schools is critical to helping every student reach his or her full potential and succeed.”
A name for the new Cornwall school hasn't been chosen yet. Construction is slated to begin later this year, and while Upper Canada board managers say it could take until early 2016 to have the school open, McDonald said trustees will push for a shorter timeline.
There has already been some muted complaints about deocmmissioning East Front and Gladstone, but McDonald said the age of the facilities, especially East Front which was built in the 1930s, means cost savings have t be found.
"There are some significant expenses," he said. "We've been making this kind of abusiness case for the last 10 years."
McDonald said services at the new school will allow children to study in both the French-immersion and core programs. And importantly, if a student wishes to leave the immersion program it won;t mean having to switch schools.