Private school planned near Martintown

This property on County Road 18, east of Martintown, Ont. seen on Sunday, March 28, 2021, will be the future home of a private nature-based school. The school will accommodate up to 30 children. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

MARTINTOWN – A couple is planning to build a nature-based private school on County Road 18, east of Martintown.

The details were unveiled this month during a public meeting as part of a rezoning application to the Township of South Glengarry.

The 53-acre property is at 18803 County Road 18, about two kilometers east of Martintown, and the proponents want to rezone five acres from rural to rural exception fifteen (RU-15) to permit a private school.

It already has a home and a storage shed with well and septic on the southern section of the property.

Consultant John Meek, speaking on behalf of property owners Sarah McCullough and Edwin Ferguson, says the schoolhouse would be 24 feet by 36 feet (7 meters by 11 meters) and would have two washrooms and a new septic system. It would have room for 15-30 students though the plans are for 20. The school yard area of the property will be fenced.

“Sarah McCullough is a qualified teacher with extensive background and experience in outdoor and experiential education. She’s passionate about learning in and through nature,” Meek told South Glengarry councillors.

Meek says there is a need in the community. “Many families have reached out to Ms. McCullough. She’s developed this private school concept and they have expressed an interest in a small school with an environmental focus.”

There were no objections or public comments during a public meeting two weeks ago. There were also notices circulated to all property owners within 120 meters (400 feet) and there were no comments or questions, Planner Joanne Haley told council.

“It’s nice to see people doing new things in our community,” Coun. Martin Lang remarked.

The rezoning will come to council for approval at one of its meetings next month.