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School board has $89-million plan to make room for full day kindergarten students

GUELPH - The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has approved in principal a capital plan to make room for an expected increase of 10% in enrolment over the next few years as a result of the new full-day kindergarten program.

The plan, expected to cost about $89-million, includes the construction of classrooms by September 2014 for 2,200 new full day kindergarten students, or enough to fill four new schools.

Board officials expect the majority of the cost - except for about $8-million from the sale of surplus board sites - to be covered by the provincial government. For instance, about $38 million is already available from the Ministry of Education, and the board has requested an additional $37 million.

The board has offered no specific plans on particular schools, but officials anticipate the capital plan will affect the majority of the board’s elementary schools. 

Many will undergo changes or renovations to existing school buildings to accommodate the needs of kindergarten students. Several new schools will also be built in the next few years.

“This is a good news story for students,” board chairman Bob Borden said in a press release.

“The need for additional classrooms and the equipment requirements for kindergarten students will require the board to undertake many capital improvements that might not otherwise be possible.”

Community information sessions, beginning after Thanksgiving, will be held to review the plan and answer questions.

The schedule for the implementation of the plan, including possible boundary reviews, will be available on Oct. 11 at the board’s business operations committee meeting. The capital plan is currently posted on the board’s website.

UGDSB officials were not available for comment by press time.



October 7, 2011


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