Ontario investing $137 million in new schools, child care spaces

Ontario will invest $137 million to build new schools, expand or renovate existing schools, and create new child care spaces across the province.Work will soon begin on 20 such projects, including four new schools and 16 additions and retrofits, as part of local school infrastructure projects to provide students with better places to learn, according to a government release in Toronto on Thursday.

Families in Toronto, Kingsville and Oshawa will also benefit through the construction of a total of 19 new custom-built child care rooms in local schools. This will create 318 total new licensed spaces for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

These projects are part of the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history — about $160 billion over 12 years. This will support 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals.

Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, said: “Improving learning environments for our students is one of the best infrastructure investments we can make. Our government is proud to invest in capital projects that are bringing students and communities together, reducing the cost of under-used space, and reinvesting savings back into the classroom.”

Giving students the best possible learning environment is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number one priority growing the economy and creating jobs, it was pointed out. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is also making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Overall, the province has invested about $13.5 billion in local school infrastructure, including 758 new schools and more than 735 additions and renovations since 2003. In the 2014 Ontario Budget, the province made a commitment to invest $750 million over four years to support school capital projects that reduce excess space. – CINEWS

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