Hamilton will see $33.5 million invested in major school infrastructure projects, including two new schools and an addition starting this year.
The announcement was made by Education Minister Mitzie Hunter at Glen Brae Elementary School in Hamilton Monday morning, with Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.
Glen Brae is one of the schools slated for closure, and one of the proposed new schools will serve its students as well as those from nearby areas.
Hunter said the province is investing more than $255 million in building new schools, as well as renovating or expanding existing ones across Ontario.
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Projects near Glen Brae, Stoney Creek
Hamilton will see the beginning of construction for two new schools: one is a new elementary school with space for 682 students. The second will be in Stoney Creek with space for 495 students.
Also in Stoney Creek, there will be significant investment for an addition to Collegiate Avenue Elementary School, accommodating 213 students.
Burlington will also see an addition to St. Mark Catholic Elementary School, to accommodate 124 students.
"These new schools and additions will support students and families throughout the Hamilton area," said McMeekin in a statement.
"This investment in school infrastructure is an important investment in the future of our thriving community."
With new capital projects expected across the province, Hunter said Ontario would also see a combined total of 460 new licensed child care spaces for young children and their families. Of these, 149 will provide access to licensed child care for Hamilton families.
The 38 new construction projects province-wide will include 10 new schools, plus 28 additions and renovations.
Closures across the province
The announcement comes as the Liberal party faces heat over several Ontario schools that are slated to close over the coming years, especially those affecting rural areas.
Among these closures, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board decided earlier this month to close two central city elementary schools, Hess Street and Strathcona, and replace them with a new school on the site of the soon-to-close Sir John A. Macdonald High School.
According to Ontario's Education Ministry, as of 2015-2016, there were 3,978 elementary and 913 secondary public schools in the province.
Certain groups like the Ontario Alliance Against School Closures predict up to 600 schools could be shut down in the coming few years, although numbers vary.
People for Education has forecast a more conservative number of 121 closures over the next three years, with rural areas of southern Ontario being hit the hardest.
The province says it has has invested $9.3 billion in capital funding since 2013 for school boards to support more than 120 new schools and more than 140 additions and renovations.