$12.5M in upgrades for 2 Niagara elementary schools

·2 min read

Two DSBN elementary schools will be getting an upgrade after a $12.5 million investment from the Ontario government.

During the announcement made Friday morning at Smith Pubic School in Grimsby, Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff said $7.2 million will be spent for an addition to Smith Public School that will add 10 new classrooms, totaling 276 new student spaces and 49 new child care spaces.

The school is currently making use of 5 portable classrooms that will be replaced by the new addition when it is complete.

Mark Bridges, principal at Smith Public School said the new addition to the elementary school on Oakes Road North will provide staff and students with additional opportunities to learn and grow into the future.

“With this addition, we will certainly be able to make the learning environment richer. Having some of the extra things like extra washrooms and sinks in the classrooms and bigger spaces will just allow for all the children to thrive and the staff.”

Oosterhoff also announced an investment of $5.3 million that will be made to Peace Bridge Public School in Fort Erie for an addition and retrofit that will see an additional 230 student spaces added.

The Niagara West MPP, who also serves as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education said the $12.5 million investment will provide students in both Grimsby and Fort Erie with the latest in education technology when complete.

“For years, parents have told me we need more room for students and additional child care spaces. By building and upgrading our schools, we are providing students with access to modern classroom settings, and the latest technology that will provide students with new opportunities.”

Sue Barnett, DSBN chair of the board, was also on hand for the event, along with director of education Warren Hoshizaki. Barnett said the investments in both Smith Public School and Peace Bridge Public School have been much needed as both schools in Grimsby and Fort Erie continue to grow.

“Smith and Peace Bridge have needed these additional spaces to accommodate their growing communities. By adding these learning spaces, we can ensure we’re meeting the needs of our current and future families."

While there is no definitive timeline attached to the projects, the DSBN said they anticipate construction at both schools will start sometime in 2021.

Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News