The provincial government has committed $17.5 million to build a new school in Woodstock, Ont., but it could be years before the doors open to students.
The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) has not yet acquired the land to build the elementary school intended to accommodate 660 students, plus a child care centre for as many as 88 toddlers and infants.
The board says it is looking in the north end of Woodstock.
Past school builds in the area have taken up to two years to complete, after the land has been bought. In the case of London’s Arthur Currie PS, the building was over capacity on opening day.
A consultant’s report released in November painted a picture of too many children for the space available in the district. It said the public board would reach maximum capacity by 2023/24.
Wish list for schools
The Woodstock project is part of a province-wide investment of more than $600 million to support new school and child care spaces.
“This is great news for students, families and community members in Oxford County,” said Mark Fisher, director of education with the TVDSB. “This is a major milestone for the community, and we are very excited to support Woodstock with a much-needed elementary school and licensed child care facility.”
The school board is also hoping for funds to build new elementary schools in Lambeth, in the Riverbend area of west London, plus additions onto Eagle Heights PS and Wilberforce PS in Lucan.
The Ministry of Education has approved two new schools for London, one in the southeast neighbourhood of Summerside, slated to open in September. A second approved school in northwest London is supposed to open by 2025/26.