Dozen schools earmarked for closure in final report

BROCKVILLE – A final report from the Accommodation Review Committee process is recommending 12 schools be closed – eight by September 2018 and another four under ministry conditions.

The staff report to trustees for Wednesday’s meeting recommends Rothwell-Osnabruck Secondary School in Ingleside, Benson Public School in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, Rideau Centennial Elementary School in Portland, Plantagenet Public School and S.J. McLeod Public School in Bainsville close by September 2017.

Prince of Wales Public School, Wolford Public School and Oxford-on-Rideau Public School would close September 2018 (Oxford-on-Rideau would close subject to space being available at South Branch Elementary School).

Another four schools are earmarked to close, pending ministry approval for additions or rebuilds to other schools.

North Stormont Public School would close if the ministry approves an addition to Roxmore Public School. Maynard Public School would close with an addition or rebuild of Wellington Elementary School.

St. Lawrence Secondary School (SLSS) and CCVS would close, pending a new grade 7-12 school in Cornwall.

Toniata Public School in Brockville would close when a rebuild is approved for a new Brockville elementary school to house students from Toniata and Commonwealth Public Schools (as well as with Prince of Wales).

The board estimates that all these changes will result in a reduction of 2,358 school spaces – far less than the 10,000 empty class seats it needed to reduce during the ARC process.

In order to accommodate new students from the closed schools at other locations, the board has also set out a number of multi-year capital upgrades. In addition to the new Cornwall 7-12 school and a new Brockville K-6 school, there are additions planned for Wellington Elementary School, North Grenville District High School, Williamstown Public School, Roxmore Public School and Smiths Falls District High School.

The report notes that further review will need to be done of the board’s high schools and notes a number of alternates have been presented in the ARC process – namely K-12 grade structuring. “However, these alternatives do not address a critical aspect of the challenge facing the Board; namely, how to provide effective secondary program to small enrollment schools.”

The board meets in Kemptville on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.