Province provides funding for land for new Sarnia school

Site of new Sarnia elementary school on The Rapids Parkway (BlackburnNews.com photo)

Another step has been taken toward the construction of a new Catholic elementary school in Sarnia’s north end.

The Ontario Education Ministry approved $4.56 million Wednesday for the purchase of eight acres of land along the east side of The Rapids Parkway, opposite St. Francois Xavier Secondary School.

The province announced $17 million in 2018 for the construction of a new French Immersion school to address overflow enrollment at Gregory A. Hogan school.

French immersion students will go to the new facility and Sacred Heart school will be closed with its students moving to a renovated Gregory Hogan.

The new facility will house up to 660 students and also include five childcare rooms with a total of 88 spaces.

St. Clair Catholic District School Board Director Deb Crawford welcomed Wednesday’s news.

“This is tremendous news for the Gregory A. Hogan and Sacred Heart Catholic school communities in Sarnia,” said Crawford. “We believe this is the perfect location for our new Sarnia school.”

In a news release, Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the government is committed to providing students with modern learning environments.

“That is why we are supporting this new elementary school here in Sarnia,” said Lecce. “This investment builds upon our 10-year $12 billion commitment to invest each and every year to build new schools, upgrade existing ones, and expand child care so that our kids learn in safe, accessible, and technologically connected schools.”

Construction of the new school is included in the board’s capital plans for 2021-22, and Crawford expects it could open in September 2023.