By SCN Staff
TORONTO— The Ontario provincial government recently announced it is investing $550 million to build 20 new schools and eight permanent school additions across the province in 2020-21.
These new projects will create nearly 16,000 new student learning spaces and 870 new licensed childcare spaces as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to improve and build modern schools.
“Our government is doing everything possible to ensure our students can achieve lifelong success,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford, in a statement.
“That’s why we made a significant commitment to fix our schools and ensure students and staff have access to the best classrooms, with features like modern ventilation systems and high-speed Internet access. During construction, these projects will create hundreds of jobs and contribute significantly to our economic recovery.”
The announcement was made at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto, where the Toronto Catholic District School Board will receive $24 million from the Capital Priorities Program to create 620 new student spaces through upgrades to the existing building infrastructure.
“This government firmly believes that all children deserve to learn in state-of-the-art, modern, technologically connected and accessible schools,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, in a statement.
“We will continue to take action to ensure students are safe today and well into the future by approving more new school buildings and permanent additions and increasing access to childcare for working parents.”
Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School is one of the oldest historic educational institutions in Toronto.
“The investment, and the addition of 620 new student spaces, will ensure the school can meet the needs of the growing community with modern classrooms for students and staff, while preserving the heritage of this storied building,” added Member of Provincial Parliament Office Robin Martin.
The government is investing more than $12 billion in capital grants over the next decade, including $500 million in 2019-20 and the $550 million for 2020-21, and will continue to work with school board partners to identify other priority large-scale school-based capital projects.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in March, the government has approved $1 billion in capital projects in education, including 50 new schools, 23 additions to existing facilities and nearly 1,800 childcare spaces.