Masonville public school expansion set to begin

Masonville Public School at 25 Hillview Blvd. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News.)

An expansion project at a north London elementary school that will help get kids out of portables and into brick and mortar classrooms is slated to begin this month.

The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) received final approval from the Ministry of Education on Wednesday for additions and renovations to Masonville Public School.

“This is wonderful news the community has been waiting anxiously to hear,” TVDSB Education Director Mark Fisher said in a statement. “This project will provide bright, modern learning spaces for our students and staff and reduce the school’s reliance on portable classrooms.”

The school, located at 25 Hillview Blvd., currently has more than 600 students enrolled there, double the number that it was intended to house. To cope with the capacity issue, 14 portable classrooms are in use at the school.

The $8.3 million expansion will include 12 new classrooms, new washrooms, a double gymnasium, a mechanical space, and a learning support room. The existing gym will be transformed into a library learning commons and staff room, while the old library will be turned into a general arts classroom. Enhancements will also be made to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system and barrier-free washrooms, ramps, and doorways to ensure the school is in line with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

The project was originally given the green light by the former Ontario Liberal government in January of 2018, but was stalled when the Conservatives came into power a few months later.

Built in 1952, Masonville Public School has a capacity of 363.

Work at the school is expected to be completed by 2021.