WINCHESTER – A project first announced in November 2015 to add additional childcare spaces to Winchester Public School will finally move forward. The Upper Canada District School Board announced February 9th it received Ministry of Education approval to proceed with the $5.4 million project.
The three-room child care centre addition will connect with the existing school, which was last expanded in the 2014-15 school year when new kindergarten classrooms and office space were added.
“We’re thrilled to move forward with this project as it will help address an ongoing community need for child care services,” said UCDSB Chair John McAllister in a release Tuesday night. “We’re grateful for the Ministry of Education’s support as well as the collaborative partnership we have with the Township of North Dundas.”
One of the roadblocks to expanding the building further was adjacent streets in Winchester. The school property is one block east of Winchester District Memorial Hospital and has no room remaining to expand.
After years of discussion between the board and North Dundas, a lease agreement will see the UCDSB lease portions of Louise, Clarence, and York Streets. York Street and part of Louise Street will be converted to one-way streets, and a bus loading/unloading zone will be constructed on Clarence Street.
The child care project will also see the school get a refresh with roofing and door improvements, replacement of the gym floor, new boilers and rooftop mechanical units, paint, signage, and classroom sinks. Parking and landscaping improvements are also part of the project.
“Progress towards the construction of the child care addition to Winchester Public School further demonstrates our government’s commitment to making child care accessible and affordable for working families,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell added, “this investment will provide choice and flexibility for families and new opportunities for the children of Winchester.”
The UCDSB expects the project to be out for tender this spring.