7:30 a.m., Dec. 6)
Work begins on new public elementary school in Avalon
By Fred Sherwin
District School Board supporters living in the South Orléans
community of Avalon can finally see a light at the end
of their over-crowded tunnel as construction has begun
on a new elementary school in the area.
Public School has been operating over capacity almost
since it first opened in 2008. The school was designed
to accommodate roughly 520 students. The current enrollment
is over 850 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade
8, requiring 17 portable classrooms to house them all.
new school is being built on a 7.6 acre site at the corner
of Portobello Boulevard and Stormwind Avenue just south
of Brian Coburn Blvd. The facility will accommodate 674
students from JK to Grade 8.
the new school opens, Grades 7 and 8 will be phased out
at Avalon Public.
a name has not yet been chosen for the new school, construction
will be completed in time to accept students next fall.
Thats great news to parents at Avalon Public School
who have been fighting for a second public school in the
area since 2011.
school council lead the fight along with former school
board trustee John Shea who doggedly lobbied his colleagues
for two years before finally convincing them to place
the new school at the top of their priority list in 2013.
then, the board played a fast one on him by dropping the
new school down to seventh on its revised 2013 list, which
was eventually submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Education.
for the parents, former Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil
McNeely was working behind the scenes at Queens
Park making a case for the new school with then Minister
of Education Liz Sandals.
the capital funding grants were announced in March 2014,
a new school in Avalon was listed among the approved projects
to the tune of $12.5 million.
hope at the time was that the school would be built by
September 2015, but delays pushed construction back a
year further adding to the parents frustrations.
earlier frustrations were all but forgotten about during
a ground breaking ceremony for the new school last month.
those in attendance was Orleans-Cumberland trustee Keith
Penny who succeeded Shea on the board last fall.
think the residents will be quite happy with the (new)
school and the programs, said Penny, assuring that
it should meet the needs of the community for several
years to come.
Ottawa District School Board is expected to announce a
competition to find a name for the new school in the coming
months. For now its simply referred to as Avalon
II Elemen-tary School.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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