London

Construction at Masonville Public School to start this month

A school expansion project that's been stalled for more than a year as governments changed hands got the green light to start construction in the coming weeks. 

The school currently has double the number of students with many packed into 14 portables

Residents in northwest London want to see an additional wing built at Masonville Public School, where 11 portables house almost half of its 500 students. (Submitted by Jake Skinner)

A school expansion project that's been stalled for more than a year as governments changed hands got the green light to start construction in the coming weeks. 

Students will not be displaced while the work is underway. 

The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) announced Thursday that an $8.3-million project will start later this month at Masonville Public School in north London. 

The school currently houses more than 600 students, double its intended capacity, with many relegated to 14 portable classrooms. When it was built in 1952, Masonville had capacity for 362 students. 

"This is wonderful news the community has been waiting anxiously to hear," said TVDSB Education Director Mark Fisher, who started in the role at the start of the school year. 

"This project will provide bright, modern learning spaces for our students and staff and reduce the school's reliance on portable classrooms."

Delays

Parents have been waiting a long time for shovels to hit the ground on a project that promises 12 new classrooms, a double gymnasium and renovations to existing sections of the school. 

The project was initially approved for expansion in January 2018 when the Liberals were in power at a cost of $5.9 million. According to the school, more students enrolled since then, requiring more space for the project.

Senior administration has allocated an extra $2.4 million of the board's surplus to fund the project.

The TVDSB has been in a holding pattern since the Ford government was elected, waiting for funding approval by the new ministry.

The board says a tender for the project was awarded Wednesday with completion expected in early 2021. 

What's being built: 

School Addition:

  • 9 classrooms (Grade 1-8)
  • 2 kindergarten classrooms and 1 partial kindergarten classroom
  • 1 Learning Support Room
  • Washrooms
  • Mechanical space
  • Double gymnasium

Renovations:

  • Creation of 2 classrooms (Grade 1-8)
  • Renovation of existing gymnasium into Library Learning Commons and staff room
  • Renovations of existing library into general arts classroom
  • Improvements to disability structures