Construction plan approved for Williamstown Public School

South Glengarry Coun. Stephanie Jaworski. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LANCASTER – As South Glengarry council approved a construction plan Friday (Sept. 17) for Williamstown Public School, a township councillor noted the “well overdue” addition will already be full once its built.

The school on County Road 17 currently has a 21,200 square foot building and five portables.

Stephanie Jaworski says, once the 8,600 square foot addition is built, it will probably be maxed out for space with 362 students enrolled right now.

“I wish the addition could be bigger because the enrollment at WPS…they won’t all be accommodated in the addition so there will be still portables, there will probably still be some students over at Char-Lan (District High School),” she says.

She wished South Glengarry could have been “more involved in the planning” with the Upper Canada District School Board because there was a “fantastic potential for synergies” with the arena (Char-Lan Recreation Center) being next door.

The councillor says “historically, WPS by percentage is the most over-capacity school in the Upper Canada (District School Board area).”

Jaworski noted the request to the UCDSB about a partnership for a shared vision for the school site and the last time she checked there “hadn’t been any progress on that point.” The request to the school board was made in February.

Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden agreed the school is “bursting at the seams” and “this is a step forward.”

The provincial government announced in July 2020 it would pay for the $4.2 million addition to the school to add 121 student spaces and bring the school’s capacity to 380.

The plan includes a new bus loading zone and eliminating three of the five portables.

With the construction plan approved, the Upper Canada District School Board can now apply for a building permit.