Focused on Immediate and Long-Term Needs to Best Serve Students and Communities
District School Board of Niagara has sent its 2023-24 Capital Priorities Program project submissions to the Ministry of Education. The submission outlines three priority needs, all aimed at better serving the needs of students in growing local communities.
“As in the past, the DSBN has worked hard to put together solid business cases, ensuring that we meet the criteria outlined by the Ministry,” said Stacy Veld, Superintendent of Business Services. “This method has served us well, as seen in previously sent in, and since approved submissions, now in the works.”
The new joint elementary school between DSBN and Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) in Wainfleet is one example. Construction for the previously approved school is well underway and set to open September 2024. The new school, which has received $18 million in funding, will allow both Boards to deliver a better educational facility for students in the community.
The new South Niagara Falls elementary school is currently in the design phase and is expected to open in 2025. With approval from the Ministry, land was purchased in 2021 in the southern end of the city, near McLeod and Kalar Road to support the future elementary school.
“Our proactive planning put us in an excellent position to best serve our students and families in Niagara Falls,” said Sue Barnett, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are always striving to provide our students with the most optimal learning environments possible, and with this school, we will be able to do just that.”
2023-24 Capital Priorities Program
The Capital Priorities Program provides school boards with an opportunity to identify and address their most urgent student accommodation needs.
As we continue to move forward with addressing growth needs – outlined in our Long-Term Accommodation Plan – DSBN has prepared three business cases for the funding of new schools, homing in on immediate needs with strong cases for each.
Three Priority Needs
The first – for a new 726 student elementary school with 49 licensed childcare spaces to better serve the City of Welland and the City of Thorold – relates to a past DSBN submission. Last year, two related business cases were submitted to the Ministry. The first, and since approved case, was for an addition to Quaker Road Public School, the school currently serving this area. This expansion is moving forward. The second was for this new elementary school. The new school would not only relieve accommodation pressure at Quaker Road Public School, it would also help to address growth in the area due to ongoing housing development.
The second request is for a new 938 student building in place of Port Colborne High School. The brand-new school would be a bright, modern learning space with state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technology, capable of supporting student learning for the next 100 years.
The third and final priority need outlined by the DSBN is for an addition at Fitch Street Elementary School in Welland. This project includes renovations to the existing layout as well as a new parking lot entrance off Prince Charles Street. This proposal would bring the school to 596 student places with an additional 49 licensed daycare spaces.
Along with the three detailed project proposals to address immediate needs, the 2023-24 DSBN Capital Priorities Program submission also includes a high-level summary of future, longer-term growth needs, as required by the Ministry.
Future Growth Needs
Looking ahead at the next one-to-five-year growth needs, DSBN has submitted to the Ministry the longer term requests for the following new school builds: new Elementary School in Thorold (Rolling Meadows development), new Elementary School in Welland (Dain City development) and a new Elementary School in Niagara Falls (Grand Niagara development) housing development. Land in these subdivision plans has already been identified in the approved and official plans with each municipality.
A new Elementary School for Fort Erie housing development is the final new build that has been identified. This is currently going through the municipal approval process. Also included in the Board’s future growth plans are requests for additions at Glynn A. Green Public School, Riverview Public School and Oakridge Public School.
“The best interests of our students and our community are what set the foundation for these existing, proposed and long-term plans,” said Warren Hoshizaki, DSBN Director of Education. “Niagara is growing, and we remain committed to making decisions that are good for everyone. By prioritizing immediate needs, improving our facilities, adding childcare spaces, and looking to the future, we continue to enhance what we offer students and staff along with benefitting families and community members.”
Milica Petkovic, Acting Senior Manager of Communications and Public Relations
District School Board of Niagara
Cell: 289-219-4302 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org