Article content continued
Ontario‘s Education Ministry finally signed off on the addition, first approved by the former Liberal government in March 2018, last year.
Before Ontario shut its schools amid the coronavirus crisis, the Masonville school — built in 1952 with capacity for 363 pupils — had 600 kids and needed 14 portables to house them.
Also during Tuesday’s review, board trustees — unable to visit in person amid the pandemic — got a virtual tour of the newly renovated Kettle Creek elementary school in Port Stanley.
Despite “tremendous challenges,” the capital projects team successfully navigated COVID roadblocks to get the work done, Henriquez said.
Kettle Creek school, home to 363 pupils students and named for a nearby watercourse, was created when the closed Sparta elementary and Port Stanley elementary merged several years ago.
The renovations included a new library, two new classrooms, heating and ventilation upgrades, air conditioning, accessibility ramps, barrier-free washrooms and automated doors. The school also got a new parking lot and drop-off area for pupils.
Renovations, including an addition and renovation of an existing gym and library commons. are also underway at London’s Tweedsmuir elementary, Henriquez said.
A parking area and bus bay are complete, while renovations to five classrooms are projected to be ready by December, boosting the school’s capacity to 494 students. The gym work is expected to wrap up next year.