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$45.8M in funding to build three local elementary schools

The provincial investment will support 1,665 elementary student spaces and 234 childcare spaces

As Waterloo Region continues to grow, so does the need for schooling and childcare.

Wednesday's announcement from Ontario Education Minister, Stephen Lecce, alongside Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris, and directors of local school boards, saw $45.8 million in provincial funding, earmarked for four different projects.

"We know this type of opportunity will benefit Kitchener, Waterloo, Woolwich Township, and parents right across the region," said Lecce. "These are major investments. Three new schools, one additional childcare expansion, which we believe will support families and help further protect children."

These projects are part of a province-wide investment, and part of the Ford Government's commitment to building modern, accessible, and technologically connected schools for Ontario youth.

"We have an obligation to make sure the schools that are built are safe, but that we're also building new, modern schools, that are well-ventilated, are accessible for all children, and connected to the web and modern economy" added Lecce. "Parents in Waterloo Region have been urging new school builds, in both the urban sides, and more suburban and rural sides."

Waterloo Region District School Board will receive $16.6 million to build a new elementary school with 611 student spaces and 73 childcare spaces. Breslau-Hopewell Crossing will be located at Loxleigh Lane and Ironhorse Drive in Woolwich.

"As always, student achievement remains at the heart of the work that we're doing, and we know this requires us to ensure that learning spaces are responsive to the diverse learning needs of our students and community," said jeewan chanicka, Director of Education for WRDSB. "Our schools and classrooms must be built to support every learner ... this investment will provide Breslau families with more easily accessible schooling and childcare, within their own community."

Chanicka added that Breslau is set to welcome an anticipated 4,176 people by 2031.

Meanwhile, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board will see two new elementary schools built; a total investment of $27.1 million. 

At $12.1 million, the new Rosenberg Catholic Elementary will add 527 elementary spaces. The location of this facility has yet to be acquired.

"Being able to serve the future of southwest Kitchener will allow this school to not only meet the education needs of this growing area, but also be a culture hub in the neighbourhood," said Loretta Notten, Director of Education for WCDSB.

$15 million will help build the new St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School, with 527 elementary spaces and 88 childcare spaces. It will be located at Thaler Avenue and Burgetz Avenue in Kitchener.

"Catholic enrolment has grown by 43 per cent in the past 10 years," added Notten. "The additional capacity for elementary students was much needed ... The St. Patrick site has sat vacant awaiting an opportunity to meet the needs of the Chicopee Centreville community again."

In 2009, the board had to close the former St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School due to unprecedented enrolment decline.

Lastly, École élémentaire L'Harmonie, in Waterloo, will expand to add 73 childcare spaces

"We're investing $2.1 million to Viamonde," announced Lecce. "This will be another way to provide French-based childcare services in the heart of Waterloo."

The Ministry of Education confirmed that all four projects are expected to be complete and open no later than the 2024-2025 school year.

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