Montreal

English Montreal School Board wants to open new elementary school in NDG

The English Montreal School Board says west end elementary schools are “bursting at the seams,” and for that reason, board commissioners voted in favour of opening a new school on Wednesday night.

The proposed new school would feature a new type of French immersion program

If a plan for a new elementary school is approved, the EMSB would like it to be housed in this building on Coronation Avenue in NDG. (Google Maps)

The English Montreal School Board says west end elementary schools are "bursting at the seams," and for that reason, board commissioners voted in favour of opening a new elementary school on Wednesday night.

If plans go ahead, it will boast the board's first "Français Plus" immersion program.

The board is not planning to build a new school. Instead, it wants to re-purpose another building it already owns. The EMSB is hoping to use the building at 4850 Coronation Avenue in the Montreal neighbourhood of NDG.

Two alternative high schools currently operate out of the building on Coronation that would house the new school. The EMSB recommends those schools — Outreach and Focus — relocate to the James Lyng High School building in Montreal's Saint-Henri neighbourhood.

If all goes according to plan, the new elementary school will be ready in time for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The EMSB is hoping that the focus on immersion at the new school will entice parents who might be considering enrolling their children in a French-language school.

The Français Plus immersion program would be complete immersion from kindergarten to grade four, then 50 per cent immersion in grades five and six.

West end schools near or over capacity

Other west end elementary schools including Edinburgh, Merton and Willingdon are either over capacity or just under.

The situation at Edinburgh highlights how badly a new school is needed, says Commissioner Joseph Lalla.

"The library has been cut in half, all of our specialized rooms that would be used for music, or be used for science, have all been eliminated," he said. "It's even a problem getting enough space in the gymnasium for students to do their weekly phys ed program."

In order for the plan to go ahead, the next step involves a board consultation for the new school, which should finish by January.

With files from Matt D'Amours

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