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Report suggests boundary changes as TVDSB faces rising enrolment

The motion was put forward by Trustee Corinne Rahman before receiving an approving vote during a special meeting on Tuesday night. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

The Thames Valley District School Board is expected to exceed overall capacity by 2023-24 and while there’s the potential for four new schools to be built within the next five years, a new report shows it’s not enough to address rising and unbalanced enrolment.

A third-party report from Watson and Associates Economists, heading to TVDSB trustees Tuesday evening, suggests changes to boundaries or holding zones at several schools.

Read more: Students can learn remotely when schools closed, buses cancelled, TVDSB says

Already, enrolment growth has resulted in the need for portables at various schools, most notably 18 at Eagle Heights Public School and 17 at Sir Arthur Currie Public School.

The report states that over the next decade, the city is expected to continue growing “at a rapid pace which will cause severe enrolment pressures and continue to add pressures where they are already occurring.”

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Growth is also expected to be particularly notable in north London and the downtown.

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The on-the-ground utilization in the city of London for 2020-21. via Watson and Associates, TVDSB
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The projected on-the-ground utilization in the city of London for 2025-26. via Watson and Associates, TVDSB

The TVDSB has been approved for a school in southeast London that is currently under construction as well as a public school in northwest London. The board also recently submitted proposals for two additional public schools in the west and southwest of the city.

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However, Fairmont Public School is scheduled to close in June as part of the plans for the southeast school.

Read more: London one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Statistics Canada says (2019)

According to the report, even if all four schools are built, it won’t be enough to address capacity issues.

As a result, the report is also suggesting boundary adjustments or holding zone changes impacting, in varying degrees, Victoria P.S., Eagle Heights P.S., University Heights P.S., St. George’s P.S., Aberdeen P.S., the to-be-renamed Ryerson P.S., Mountsfield P.S., Cleardale P.S., Sir John A. Macdonald, Centennial Central P.S., Evelyn Harrison P.S., Cedar Hollow P.S., Bonaventure Meadows P.S., Woodland Heights P.S. and Sir Isaac Brock P.S.

The full report can be found on the TVDSB’s website. An overview of recommended measures can be found at the bottom of the report.

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