Two Niagara schools share $12.5M in provincial funds

·2 min read

Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West and parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Education announced Friday that the Ontario government will be providing $12.5 million in funding to the District School Board of Niagara.

The funding is for an addition to the Smith Public School in Grimsby, and an addition and retrofit for the Peace Bridge Public School in Fort Erie.

The Peace Bridge Public School will receive $5.3 million in funding.

Oosterhoff, speaking at Smith Public School, said the funding for Peace Bridge will create 230 new elementary student spaces.

Smith Public School will receive $4.3 million in funding, resulting in 276 new elementary student spaces and $2.9 million for 49 new licensed child care spaces.

“These are not just investments in bricks and mortar, our government is investing in the future of our children by creating a better learning environment,” said Oosterhoff. “By building and upgrading these schools we are providing students with access to modern classroom settings and the latest technology which will lead to new opportunities and lifelong success.”

DSBN Chair, Sue Barnett said she welcomes the additional funding.

“Smith and Peace Bridge have needed these additional spaces to accommodate their growing communities,” said Barnett. “By adding these learning spaces, we can ensure we’re meeting the needs of our current and future families. We appreciate the government’s support on these important projects.”

Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce said, “We will continue to take action, as we are doing at the Smith Public School and Peace Bridge Public School, to ensure students are safe today and well into the future by approving more new school buildings and permanent additions and increasing access to child care for working parents.”

Superintendent of Education, John Dickson, at the DSBN is happy that the government recognizes that Smith and Peace Bridge are in growing communities.

“The additional learning and childcare spaces being built will ensure that we’re meeting the needs of our current and future students,” said Dickson. “This is an important investment in education, and will make a real difference for families in Niagara.”

The funds are part of the province’s 2020-2021 Capital Priorities Program. The Ontario government is investing $550 million in accelerated funding to build 20 new schools and eight permanent additions to existing facilities.

Sean Vanderklis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter for the Niagara Falls Review, covering education issues across Niagara. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review