McGuinty Government Fixing Schools, Building Potential
Over $135 Million In Urgent Repairs And Construction Underway This Summer
TORONTO -- With students away, an unprecedented number of major repairs to windows, boilers and roofs are being made this summer to schools across the province, with renovations, expansions and even construction of new schools to begin later this year, says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Students deserve to learn in school buildings that reflect the importance and quality of their education," said Premier McGuinty. "Work has already started in many schools, and students and teachers will see better buildings when they head back to school this fall."
Part of rebuilding public confidence in education is about literally rebuilding Ontario's crumbling schools. Over $400 million in urgent repairs and construction is planned, rising to $1 billion once all boards have finalized their project plans for this school year. School boards are spending over $135 million on repair and renovation projects already underway this summer. More repair and renewal will take place over the next 18 months than has occurred over the last 10 years.
The renewal projects underway in schools this summer include:
- Over 165 projects for new windows to cut drafts
- Over 290 roofing projects to stop leaks
- Over 202 projects to improve and replace boilers
- Funding for urgently needed items such as plumbing repairs, fixing heating and cooling systems, fire alarms and extinguishers.
Premier McGuinty was joined by Education Minister Gerard Kennedy at Nelson Mandela School, where work has begun on brick and stone repairs to the building, new windows and improvements to the school's lighting. The work is expected to be completed this fall.
"There is no reason why any student in a publicly funded school should be taught beneath a leaking roof or drafty window," said Kennedy. "Good Places to Learn is about fixing buildings so students can focus on learning and teachers can focus on teaching."
"All across the province, repairs are taking place," said Kennedy. "We don't hold ribbon-cuttings for new windows, but parents should know that schools are getting better this summer."
Today's announcement is part of the government's Good Places to Learn initiative to provide $4 billion worth of repairs, additions and replacement costs to Ontario's publicly funded schools.
Over the next three years, this funding will be used for major repairs, school renovations, new additions and buildings to meet space needs and new schools to replace old ones across the province.
"We know that students have a much better chance at success when they learn in schools that are clean, safe and in good repair," said Premier McGuinty. "This is an important part of our plan to strengthen our province by strengthening the education and skills of our people."