French community welcomes new French high school in Waterloo

Members of the region's French community are excited about a new French public high school in Waterloo.

French community has been asking for a new high school for over a decade

The provincial government has announced a new French high school will be built in Waterloo. Currently students must travel to Hamilton to continue their education in French past elementary school. (Conseil scolaire Viamonde)

Waterloo Region's French community is saying "Bienvenue" to news that a new French public high school will be built in Waterloo.

The secondary school will be part of Conseil scolaire Viamonde, the French public school board that serves Southwestern Ontario and Toronto.

"It feels great. We've been working at it for so long and I can't wait to go and meet the community," said school board director Gyslaine Hunter-Perrault.

"You know we've received letters after letters requesting that school, I can't wait to go and meet with them and share the good news." 

High school students travel to Hamilton

Hunter-Perrault says there is an elementary school in Waterloo, but if students want to continue their education in French they must travel to Hamilton.

"We are a growing board, and we are a board that is not established all over the place yet. So the government acknowledged that right that the French community has to French language education and that community has been demanding a school since 2003," she said. 

The new French public secondary school does not have an address yet, but officials say it will open in Waterloo and serve the entire region.

It's a move that Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy sees as benefit to the community.

"The ability of members of our community to function in a number of different languages is a huge asset for them but it's also a huge asset for their community in terms of formal or informal ties. You're talking about business or higher education," he said. 

The new school is one of three announced by the province Friday. The other two are public primary schools.