Up to 29 UCDSB schools may close by next summer following public review

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

BROCKVILLE – The Upper Canada District School Board stretches as far east as the Ottawa Carleton region to the lakeshore near Gananoque.
About 26 thousand students occupy 86 schools within the district… but the number of schools may be cut down by one third by the end of the school year.
“As much as we would love to keep every school open, it becomes a financial situation over time.”
As many as 29 schools could be on the chopping block… including a few here in Brockville like Prince of Wales and Toniata public schools.
The schools being considered for closure are mostly in rural areas — many are old, rundown and under used.
Jeff McMillan/Chair, UCDSB:
“Over the last few years the government has been providing us to keep those schools open. That’s no longer going to be the case. We have to make a wise decision, in terms of being a manager of only our facilities but our finances as well.”
Heather Senoran:
“Across the school board’s district there currently is about 10 thousand unused student spaces which is the equivalent to 33 empty elementary schools. Not only will consolidating save money, trustees hope that money can be put towards upgrading aging schools or even building new ones.”
The consolidating of spaces and closing of others will not be decided until a public review process is complete.
Stephen Silwa/Director of Education:
“Our job right now is to make sure that everything we do, students are at the centre of that. That includes what we do day to day and includes this larger discussion about what kind of schools we want for the future.”
MPP Steve Clark is against the possible closure of schools. He says the school board is doing a disservice to its constituents by fast tracking the review process to only 6 months.
He says he’s heard from many outraged parents who he’s encouraging to speak up in protest.
Steve Clark/MPP, Leeds-Grenville:
“I always have a number of them wanting me to communicate to the ministry of education, their dissatisfaction. I’m quite prepared to do that as their local MPP. I’m going to stand up for them and make sure the trustees hear loud and clear how angry they are.”
The school board says public consultation is a big part of the discussion and hopes all parents voice their opinions.
The final board decision will be made by the end of March 2017.
Heather Senoran CKWS Newswatch, Brockville.

Comments are closed.

Top Stories This Week