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Construction of $50M K-12 school breaks ground in Blind River

Students in Blind River have something to get excited about, with a new K-12 school on the horizon.

A ground-breaking was held Friday for the creation of a school that will serve youth from both the public and French school boards.

A ground-breaking was held Friday for the creation of a $50 million new school in Blind River that will serve youth from both the public and French school boards. (Cory Nordstrom/CTV News Northern Ontario)The school has been in the works for the last five years and has been sorely needed for some time.

It will include space for 381 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 from the Algoma District School Board, 72 elementary school children from the Conseil du Grand Nord, as well as 64 new child care slots.

"It’s a good sign of collaboration for the community, because as French speakers and English speakers we have to work together and live together,” said Sebastien Fontaine of Conseil du Grand Nord.

“It’s a good example for our students."

Public board high schoolers currently share a 65-year-old building with French elementary school students.

The current Blind River Public School was built in 1928.

"Both of our facilities here in Blind River were reaching (the end of) their lifespan, and so based on that and the efficiencies of being able to bring two schools into one certainly made a lot of sense," said Lucia Reece of the Algoma District School Board.

The final cost comes in at $50.5 million, nearly $15 million higher than previously expected. Board officials said it was mainly related to construction costs.

Community leaders said the new school will be worth it to the hundreds who will make use of the space.

"There's so many more things that can happen,” said Blind River Mayor Sally Hagman.

“We have daycare that's going to be in the new school, we have after-school activities, which have always taken place but when you have a new facility it just opens it up to the community to say 'we want to be there, too.'"

And at least one future student said she’s looking forward to having a new place to learn.

"I'm really, really excited,” said Grade 5 student Iris Cumming.

“It’s humongous. It's so big and there's three gyms."

Construction should be completed sometime during the 2025/26 school year.

The Algoma District School Board has yet to decide what will become of its current elementary and high schools in Blind River. Top Stories

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