New elementary school to be built in North Bay
The Ontario government is giving the Near North District School Board $20 million to build a new elementary school that will be used to consolidate three schools.
MPP Vic Fedeli made the announcement Wednesday morning that the province has approved the construction to replace the former W.J. Fricker Senior Public School. The new facility building will support the consolidation of two junior kindergarten to Grade 6 schools that are currently located less than five kilometres apart: ET Carmichael Public School on Chapais Street and EW Norman Public School on Lake Heights Road.
"The new school will also include new childcare rooms and an EarlyON Child and Family Centre," Fedeli said in a news release. "This project is part of the province’s capital investment program to support students with better learning spaces."
Building the new school has been a priority for the school board's trustees, chair Jay Aspin said. The new facility will be built at the site of the former W.J. Fricker school at 790 Norman Avenue which was closed at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. It will accommodate 308 students from junior kindergarten to Grade 6. It will also host four new childcare rooms, 73 new licensed childcare spaces, and a child and family centre.
"This is an important approval for our new Fricker school which will consolidate three schools and enhance elementary education in this section of North Bay. This school will ensure that more students in the city will experience the modern features of a contemporary elementary school," he said.
The funding comes from Ontario's Ministry of Education.
"We appreciate the Ministry of Education’s support of this capital project. We look forward to receiving bids and working with contractors and architects to get this project underway, in the best interest of our staff, families, and most importantly, our students,” said Craig Myles, director of education of Near North District School Board.
This funding is part of a $550 million allocation from the province for the building of new and renovation of existing schools in the 2021-2022 school year. Over the next 10 years, the province plans to spend $14 billion in capital grant projects for schools.
"From modernizing our curriculum to revitalizing our classrooms and their facilities, we are investing in our students and giving them every tool to achieve their full potential," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. "Our construction of this new elementary school in North Bay further demonstrates our government’s historic investment in Ontario’s schools and our overall commitment to supporting our students and families."
Construction on the new North Bay school is expected to be completed by September 2023.