Trustees Conclude Fort Erie ARC By Endorsing New School
The DSBN will seek to build a new school with enough space to accommodate 500 students in Fort Erie. At their meeting on June 10, Trustees of the Board voted to construct the new K – 8 school in time for September, 2016. The school will consolidate the populations of Bertie, Ridgeway and Crystal Beach Public Schools.
“Building a new elementary school will be an important piece of the renewal taking place in Fort Erie,” said Trustee Dave Schaubel. “When you consider this alongside the new high school the DSBN is planning on building in the Town, students can look forward to an outstanding public education in first rate facilities from Kindergarten through Grade 12.”
DSBN Chair Kevin Maves said this decision largely aligns with the recommendation put forward by the Accommodation Review Committee, which had submitted its report for Trustees’ consideration in April. “It is always positive when we are able to work with communities to achieve an outcome that best supports student learning and is responsible for taxpayers in the region,” said Maves. Consolidating students at one of the existing schools would have required significant capital improvements.
Although Trustees have committed to building a new school, its location has not been finalized. Trustees’ first choice is a plot of land fronting onto Rebstock Road, which has been donated by the Town of Fort Erie. Construction on this location is contingent on the Board being able to reach an agreement with the Town to obtain a total of seven acres of land to give students ample room to learn, play and grow. In order to avoid a delay in construction, an agreement must be reached by September 30. If the Board is not able to reach an agreement on the site, the new school will instead be built on the current Ridgeway property at 143 Ridge Road.
This decision consolidate the three schools will allow the Board to eliminate 352 surplus student spaces, which are spaces for which the DSBN receives no government funding. It will also give students a modern learning facility. All three schools in the review area are over 50 years old; Ridgeway being the oldest of the three, originally built in 1920.
With Trustees’ decision the DSBN will apply to the Ministry of Education for capital funding to construct the new school.