Two new elementary schools to be built in London, Ont.

Ontario is proposing to allow teachers without technological credentials to teach certain tech courses for the next school year, which teachers and principals suggest indicates the province is ill-prepared for the new mandatory nature of those classes. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce delivers remarks at Lakeshore Collegiate Institute in Toronto, on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

The Ministry of Education has approved $55.3 million in funding for the Thames Valley District School Board to build two new elementary schools in west and southeast London.

News of the schools comes a month after Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced funding for two other schools in the London region, one for the public board and one for the Catholic board. Both will provide increased access to licensed childcare.

“We appreciate everything the ministry has done to streamline the capital funding approval process, so that the board and our municipal and community partners can best serve the needs of London’s rapidly growing population,” says Beth Mai, TVDSB school board chair.

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“Today is an example of what’s possible when everyone comes together with the common goal of addressing the greatest needs of families.”

The schools are scheduled to be built by the 2026/2027 school year. The west London elementary school will cost $27.1 million and accommodate 525 students, and the southeast London location will cost $28.2 million and accommodate 655. Both schools will include a five-room childcare centre. The schools will include 176 new infant, toddler and preschool childcare spaces in London.

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Both projects are currently in the land acquisition stage.

Lecce said the government is more than doubling its funding to build new schools. “We are stepping up with a massive investment to build the homes, schools and communities our province needs to ensure children have access to state-of-the-art schools close to home.”

The schools are needed to accommodate London’s population growth. Combined, they will serve more than 11,000 students. The student population has grown by over 6,000 over the past five years.

“As one of the fastest growing school boards in Ontario, Thames Valley will benefit greatly from the Ministry’s approval of funding for these two schools and childcare centres,” said Mark Fisher, Director of education for TVDSB.

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