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Education

Downtown school to be transformed into Hamilton community hub

Plans are well underway for a community hub and elementary school following the closure of Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School.
Plans are well underway for a community hub and elementary school following the closure of Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School. HWDSB

The Hamilton Public School Board and six partners have agreed to explore and design a community hub in downtown Hamilton.

READ MORE: Community hub planned for downtown Hamilton high school property

The project will take place on the eight-acre site where Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School currently sits. The school will close in June of 2019.

It will provide residents with access to a range of programs and services such as education, social services, recreation, housing and health-related services.

“Following the 2012 decision to close Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School, our current board of trustees was faced with a difficult decision regarding the future of this eight-acre site in our downtown core,” said school board chair Todd White.

“Rather than abandoning our presence, our board was determined to reinvest and imagine a greater potential for the area. Through consultation with partners and with community feedback, trustees have uncovered a vision that didn’t seem possible a few short years ago.”

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READ MORE: Hamilton public board receives funding to build new elementary schools

The project is contingent on Ministry of Education approval for a new elementary school, which is expected in January or February 2018.

The partners include the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Foundation, Hamilton Health Sciences and the YMCA.

READ MORE: Community hub pitch gets the green light from Hamilton public school board

“Our vision for a community hub in downtown Hamilton begins with a focus on the child’s education,” said Manny Figueiredo, director of education. “Student learning and achievement is enhanced when families can access the necessary services that support their well-being. We thank the partners for their continued collaboration and support in providing greater access to programs and services that meet the needs of families.”

In the next six months, HWDSB will finalize capital requirements and the services each will offer.