Dundalk to get a new elementary school

(L-R): Southgate Deputy Mayor Barbara Dobreen, School Council Member Silvia Watt, BWDSB Director of Education Lori Wilder, Southgate Councillor Monica Singh Soares, Southgate Mayor Brian Milne, Dundalk and Proton Community School Principal Cathy Griffin, Southgate Councillor Joan John, Highpoint Community School Principal Kelly Merrifield, BWDSB Chair Jane Thomson, Highpoint Community School Vice-Principal Andrew Noble, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, MPP Rick Byers, School Council Members Alicia Ali and Amanda Coutts

Rick Byers, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, recently announced that the Ontario government is investing $28 million in Bluewater District School Board for a new Dundalk elementary school.

The new build will be in addition to the two existing schools, Highpoint Community and Dundalk and Proton Community schools, which will remain open.

This project is part of a $1.3 billion plan that more than doubles funding to build new schools and expansions, including child care spaces, announced by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, as part of the Capital Priorities Program.

“This is such exciting news for the Dundalk community. With the expansion in housing development locally, it is great that there will be a new school for current and future students to enjoy,” said MPP Byers. “This investment will support the creation of 735 student spaces and 54 licensed child care spaces as part of the government’s commitment to building state-of-the-art learning spaces for Ontario students.”

The overall investment, which is the highest ever made in a single year, supports the creation of more than 27,000 new student spaces and more than 1,700 licensed child care spaces at schools across Ontario.

“Our government is more than doubling the funding to build new schools, which represents the single largest investment in school construction in Ontario history,” added Minister Lecce. “We are stepping up with a massive investment to build the homes, schools, and communities our province needs, and to ensure children have access to state-of-the-art schools close to home that gives them real life and job skills to succeed in the future. I want to reiterate my thanks to MPP Rick Byers for his relentless advocacy for local families.”

Ontario’s government unveiled a new plan to build faster, including providing school boards with more flexibility and support to get shovels in the ground quicker and have more options to use existing buildings in their communities. These changes are part of the government’s plan to ensure that the public education system focuses on what matters most: important life-long skills such as reading, writing and math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; and maximizing capital assets.

“Our government is investing in new schools and improved infrastructure across the province to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families, and growing communities.” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “These are part of our historic investment of more than $190 billion over the next ten years to build and deliver the critical infrastructure Ontarians deserve today, and for future generations to come.”

The 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario continues to support the province’s work being delivered in the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act to build schools faster and better use taxpayer-funded assets.

“We are thrilled by the news of this significant investment in a brand new school build with child care spaces to meet the growing demand that we have been witnessing in recent years in Dundalk,” said Bluewater District School Board Chair Jane Thomson. “With new families continuing to move into this high-growth community, our board will be well-positioned to accommodate the educational needs of area students for many years to come. Thank you to the Ministry of Education for recognizing a vital need in the Dundalk area by approving and funding this project. We also appreciate the efforts of our local MPP Rick Byers, who has continued to advocate on behalf of our students, our many supportive municipal and community partners, and our staff whose thorough research and hard work were instrumental in a successful business case submission.”

The new Dundalk elementary school will be located at a site to be acquired in Southgate.