The Ministry of Education has given final approval for a significant expansion of Masonville Public School.
“Staff are absolutely thrilled, they’ve been waiting for this announcement, we’re really ready for it and we’re really looking forward to getting shovels in the ground by the end of this month,” said Mark Fisher, director of education with the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB).
A tender for the project was awarded on Tuesday. Construction work expected to begin before the end of September, with completion expected in early 2021.
Masonville Public School was built in 1952 and was only meant to accommodate 363 students.
Officials with the TVDSB say they require more than 14 portable classrooms to accommodate the more than 600 students currently enrolled at the school on Hillview Boulevard.
“We had a very solid case, we worked really hard, and we’re really happy that the Ministry of Education has awarded us this project, and we hope its the start of more approvals,” said Fisher.
“We’re really starting to see our enrollment go up after about a 10-year trend of declining enrolment.”
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The renovations will see the addition of new classrooms, a double gymnasium, additional washrooms, space for kindergarten classes as well as mechanical space.
Work will be done to the original school building to create two additional classrooms and turn the current gym into a library learning commons and staff room.
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Fisher says the $8.3 million project will also include added barrier-free washrooms.
“One of the things we always want to make sure is that any single-use washroom that we have is available for anyone to use.”
The project also includes enhancements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, ramps and doorways to insure the school meets Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards.