2:30 a.m., April 7)
Avalon school fails to rank high among public board's
By Fred Sherwin
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board released a list
of its top 10 capital funding priorities on Thursday and
school board supporters in Avalon will be disappointed
to learn that a second elementary school in their community
is ranked well down the list.
fact, it's ranked sixth behind a new elementary school
in Kanata North which ranked number one, a $15 million
addition to Longfields-Davidson Secondary School in Barrhaven
and a $10 million addition to Earl of March Secondary
School in Kanata.
list, which was put together by board staff, will be submitted
to the business services committee on Wednesday.
members can either amend the list, or refer it to the
committee of the whole where it will be debated by the
entire board before final approval and submission to the
Ontario Ministry of Eduction.
board went through a similar process last year, before
submitting a list of 15 projects in need of major capital
funding. The province eventually approved funding for
a new elementary school in Barrhaven which is scheduled
to open in January 20.
board was in the middle of putting together an updated
capital priorities list in March when the ministry issued
new guidelines for capital funding requests.
the guidelines was the requirement to rank each of the
capital priorities while placing a focus on their "highest
and most urgent accommodation priorities".
2011, the Ontario Ministry of Education received requests
for over 650 projects submitted from across the province
totalling more than $4.5 billion. Seventy-eight of those
projects were approved and $635 million was allocated
for their completion.
limited as the funding was in 2011, the situation is even
worse looking forward as the provincial government struggles
to balance the budget by 2017-2018.
a memo dated March 29, the Ministry of Education informed
the province's school boards that only $325 million would
be available for capital projects expected to open by
2015-16. That's roughly half the allocation provided in
that address accommodation pressures and/or projects undertaken
in conjunction with the provision of full-day kindergarten
are ministry priorities. Both are strong arguments for
a second school in Avalon.
Public School is currently operating at about 130% capacity.
It was built to accommodate 495 full-time students. It
currently houses about 690 students, but about 70 students
are in half-day kindergarten. The school is also scheduled
to begin offering full-day kindergarten in 2014. Without
a second school the target date is unrealistic.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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