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Education Investment made in Simcoe-Grey

Ontario Building Two New Schools in Essa, Expanding a School in New Tecumseth
Province more than doubles funding to build new schools, faster

MPP Brian Saunderson announced that over $60 million in provincial funding is flowing to the riding as the Ontario government is investing $52.4 million for two new schools and $8.6 million for a school expansion, helping working families in Essa and New Tecumseth.
This will support the creation of 1,385 student spaces in Essa and New Tecumseth as part of the government’s commitment to building state-of-the-art learning spaces for Ontario students. Essa will also see 49 licensed childcare spaces added to address an accommodation pressure.
These projects are part of a $1.3 billion investment to support new school construction and expansions to existing schools, including childcare spaces, announced by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, as part of the Capital Priorities Program.
“Our government is committed to providing and ensuring Ontario students have the best learning experience possible,” said Brian Saunderson, MPP for Simcoe-Grey. “It won’t be long before these new schools will be filled with new classrooms, and soon become home to generations of students for years to come. The new facilities will also serve as hubs for their communities.”
The overall investment, which is the highest ever made in a single year, supports the creation of more than 27,000 new student spaces and more than 1,700 licensed childcare spaces at schools across Ontario.
“Our government is more than doubling the funding to build new schools, which represents the single largest investment in school building in Ontario history,” said Minister Lecce. “We are stepping up with a massive investment to build the homes, schools, and communities our province needs, and to ensure children have access to state-of-the-art schools close to home that gives them real life and job skills to succeed in the future. I want to reiterate my thanks to MPP Brian Saunderson for his relentless advocacy for local families.”
Ontario’s government unveiled a new plan to build faster, including providing school boards with more flexibility and support to get shovels in the ground quicker and have more options to use existing buildings in their communities. These changes are part of the government’s plan to ensure that the public education system focuses on what matters most: important life-long skills such as reading, writing and math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; and maximizing capital assets.
“Our government is investing in new schools and improved infrastructure across the province to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families, and growing communities.” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “These are part of our historic investment of more than $190 billion over the next ten years to build and deliver the critical infrastructure Ontarians deserve today, and for future generations to come.”
The 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario continues to support the province’s work being delivered in the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act to build schools faster and better use taxpayer-funded assets.

“This is an exciting time for Catholic education in our Board – our schools are busy and vibrant places, and we have experienced a significant increase in enrolment across the region. The Ministry of Education has recognized the importance of investing in school infrastructure so that we can respond to the needs of our students and staff. I know that the Angus community will be very happy to have a new school to relieve the growth pressures in that community, and St. Thomas Aquinas certainly looks forward to a new addition to accommodate growth and learning at their school.”
-Maria Hardie, Board Chair
Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board

“Simcoe County’s population continues to grow at a rapid pace. This growth has required us to accommodate students in our existing public schools that are, in many cases, already over-crowded facilities. New residential growth, specifically in Essa Township, has been steadily increasing, putting significant pressure on our two public schools in Angus and schools in neighbouring communities. This announcement is welcome news for the SCDSB, for students and families in Angus, and it is certainly a positive investment in the community. Staff put forward a strong business case to the Ministry of Education, which included a ‘shovel ready’ site purchased by the SCDSB in Oct. 2022. With this announcement of capital funding, and the strong relationship we have established with the Township of Essa, we will be ready to proceed with the build immediately.”
-John Dance, Director of Education
Simcoe County District School Board

Highlights of the projects include:

A $24.3 million investment in the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board for a new Angus Catholic Elementary School at a site to be acquired in Essa, creating 516 student spaces and 49 licensed child care spaces.

A $28.1 million investment in the Simcoe County District School Board for a new Angus Elementary School to be located at Greenwood Drive & Decarolis Drive in Essa, creating 593 student spaces.

An $8.6 million investment in the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board for an expansion to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School located at 2 Nolan Road in New Tecumseth, creating 276 student spaces.

In December 2023, the Ministry of Education announced Ontario’s plan to help build schools faster through a transparent, accountable and more efficient process. In the recent Capital Priorities round, school boards were encouraged to standardize the design of new school construction, identify opportunities to work together on joint-use school projects, and bring forward shovel ready proposals.

Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested more than $3.6 billion in capital construction projects in education, including 139 new schools, 109 additions and renovations to existing facilities, creating more than 98,000 student spaces and over 8,000 new licensed child care spaces.

For the 2023-24 school year, the province is providing school boards with approximately $1.4 billion in funding to revitalize and renew aged building systems and components.

The investment is part of Ontario’s commitment to provide about $16 billion to support new school construction, repair, and renewal over 10 years.

The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 ensures the public education system focuses on what matters most: teaching important lifelong skills such as reading, writing and math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; maximizing capital assets of boards to support building modern schools faster and better utilizing current school capacity.

Ontario secured a $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government that will lower fees for families to an average of $10 a day for children under the age of six under the Canadawide Early Learning and Child Care system.