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January 23, 2011 permalink
Brantford is building a new elementary school. The last sentence of the news article is the important one: "The Children's Aid Society of Brant also will have an office in the building." Two cooperating Catholic school boards are still looking for a name for the school. We can suggest Gestapo school, or more in the Catholic tradition, Purgatory school
Boundary talks underway for joint schools project
Work is underway to establish attendance boundaries and give names to a new elementary school facility in southwest Brantford that will be shared by the local school boards.
The $14.5-million building, under construction on Blackburn Drive west of Conklin Road, will be operated jointly by the Grand Erie and Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic district school boards.
Two schools will operate in the building.
Construction of the building, originally scheduled to open in September, was delayed when it was discovered that the site had inadequate soil to support it. Work was done to fill the site with compacted soil and crushed stone.
Jamie Gunn, superintendent of business for the Grand Erie board, said construction is now moving along well. The foundations are complete and ground floor walls are almost up.
Both schools are now set to open next January, with 255 of the 760 students now attending Ryerson Heights School on Dowden Avenue transferring to the Grand Erie portion of the new building.
About 225 students will transfer to the new Catholic school from St. Gabriel's School on Flanders Drive.
That will leave about 375 students at St. Gabriel's, which is still slightly over capacity, said Wally Easton, associate director of the Catholic board.
Easton said input is now being sought from parents about attendance boundaries for the new Catholic school. A report will be presented to the board in February.
Gunn said that, in September, students at Ryerson Heights will be organized so that whole classes, and their teachers, will move as a unit to the new school.
Gunn said the plan is to have the new public school reach its student capacity of 430 within about five years.
Easton said that new Catholic school will follow a similar plan.
"We'd like to leave some room in the school, because this area is still under development," said Gunn.
There are plans to construct another 1,900 homes in southwest Brantford over the next few years.
Gunn said he hopes that, by 2020, the Ministry of Education will have approved the construction of another elementary school for the subdivision.
The Grand Erie board will form a transition committee, made up of principals, school council representatives, a teacher, a trustee, and others, which will give the new school a name.
The committee must come up with three names for the board to consider.
The Catholic board is also looking at names for its school. All board employees were asked for suggestions and a school naming committee reviewed 60 recommendations.
Three names were short-listed: All Saints Catholic Elementary School, St. Basil Catholic Elementary School, and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Elementary School.
The matter will be discussed at the Catholic board's next meeting on Tuesday.
The new school facility will include two wings -one for each board -with a common foyer, gym and library.
It has been more than 20 years since Grand Erie and the Catholic board opened their first shared facility on Brantwood Park Road. The Branlyn Community Complex houses both Branlyn Community School and Notre Dame Catholic School.
The new shared facility will have cost benefits. A smaller parcel of land, in this case 10 acres, is needed compared to building two separate schools. Students will share two large soccer fields at the site.
A joint building also reduces tendering, architectural and contractor costs, and can tap into discounts as large consumers of electricity and heat.
The Children's Aid Society of Brant also will have an office in the building.
Source: Brantford Expositor
Thanks to Rob Ferguson for the referral