Hamilton's public school board plans to study 76 elementary schools in the next five years for potential closure, expansion or boundary readjustment.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board will study schools throughout Hamilton to look at the number of students, programming and building needs, according to a draft plan presented to trustees Monday night.
If a school is on the list, that doesn't necessarily mean it will close, said chair Tim Simmons.
'We can't afford to keep schools partially empty.'—Tim Simmons, HWDSB
“We have to look at clusters of schools together in order to see what facility needs are, what the student programming needs are in those schools, and the location of schools,” he said.
To be included in an accommodation review committee (ARC) process “doesn't mean you're closing,” said Ellen Warling, manager of accommodation and planning. “It means you're part of the discussion.”
The board is studying its elementary schools because it still has too few students for the number of pupil places, Simmons said. It aims to close, consolidate or readjust boundaries until schools are 90 to 110 per cent full.
“We can't afford to keep schools partially empty,” he said.
The plan includes ARC processes that will start as early as the fall, continuing until 2018. Central Mountain area, east Hamilton, west Glanbrook and Dundas and west Flamborough will be first.
The plan includes studying the following schools in 2013/14:
The board will also look at buying land in Ancaster this year to deal with growing enrolment in the Ancaster Meadowlands area.
The following map shows schools that are up for review this year: