CORNWALL, Ontario – The Upper Canada School Board (UCDSB) has proposed to close 12 schools categorized as Category 1 in their Peer Accommodation Review. If the plan is passed by the school board in March, then those 12 schools would close on June 30, 2017.
Some of the schools proposed to be closed under the plan include Char-Lan District High School, S.J. MacLeod and Longue Sault Public School.
Rothwell-Osnabruck will be turned into a K-6 school under the plan with all students Grade 7 and above being sent to CCVS.
Students currently at Char-Lan will be bused to Cornwall to attend CCVS and St. Lawrence Secondary School. For students who already live near the school in Williamstown, and further East, this will significantly increase their time riding on the bus to their new school.
Not only will this greater distance from a good school affect travel time for those students living around Williamstown, but it will also affect the property values of not just their parent’s homes, but of all homes in the area.
According to a study conducted by the realty firm TheRedPin from January 2014 to March 2015 the average price of a townhouse in the Greater Toronto Area, that was close to a good school, was 34 percent higher than townhouses located in other parts of the city.
While the housing market in Cornwall and SD&G is not as hot as the Toronto market, the correlation between good schools and housing prices could translate.
“One of the top priorities we see is proximity to a school and ease of transport,” said Andrew Ouellette a local Broker/ Manager with Royal LePage. “Typically, buyers pay more for houses close to schools they want to send their children to.”
The closure of schools like Longue Sault Public and Char-Lan could affect more than just students and parents, but entire communities.