Grimsby public school gets $7.2M for expansion

Smith Public School expansion Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff (center) poses with Grimsby councillors Dorothy Bothwell, left, Deputy Mayor Lianne Vardy, second from left, and Councillor Dave Sharpe, second from right, as well as Grimsby's Niagara Grimsby's Regional Councillor Wayne Fertich (far right) at an announcement at Smith Public School about Ontario funding for expansion

The Ontario government is supporting the District School Board of Niagara with $7.2 million in funding for an addition to the Smith Public School in Grimsby.

The $7.2-million funds are part of a $12.5 million Ontario Government allotment that also includes a $5.3 million addition and retrofit for the Peace Bridge Public School in Fort Erie. 

The additions and retrofit are part of the province’s 2020-2021 Capital Priorities Program to support students with better and more modern learning spaces.

The investment at Smith Public School, located in West Grimsby at 18 Oakes Road North, will allow the school to move students out of portable classrooms currently used on school property, said the school’s principal Mark Bridges. It funds the construction of 10 new classrooms for 276 additional elementary students at a cost of $4.3 million.

An additional $2.9-million from the spend will allow the school to add 49 new licensed child care spaces and three child care rooms: one infant, one toddler, one preschool.

“Our school right now is a safe place, a welcoming place, but with this addition, we’ll certainly be able to go much deeper into the learning environment that much richer,” said Bridges. “Certainly having some of the extra things like extra washroom sinks added to the classroom, and bigger spaces will just allow more room for all the children to thrive…so we’re very pleased. There’ll be a dramatic difference.”

“For years, local parents have told me that we need more rooms for students and additional childcare spaces. I’m proud to belong to a government that is listening to families and taking action on your behalf.,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, at the announcement at Smith Public School in Grimsby.

Around the province, the Ontario government is investing $550 million in accelerated funding to build 20 new schools and eight permanent additions to existing facilities.

“Smith and Peace Bridge have needed these additional spaces to accommodate their growing communities,” said Sue Barnett, DSBN Chair of the Board. “By adding these learning spaces, we can ensure we’re meeting the needs of our current and future families. We appreciate the government’s support on these important projects.”

Today’s announcement includes news that Peace Bridge Public School will receive $5.3 million in funding for addition and retrofit, which will result in 230 new elementary student spaces. The school is located at 105 Torrance Street, Fort Erie.

Representing Grimsby council at the government and DSBN announcement was councillor Dorothy Bothwell, councillor Dave Sharpe, deputy mayor Lianne Vardy and Grimsby’s Niagara regional councillor Wayne Fertich.