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High school now tops board's priority list


A new Orillia high school is now No. 1 on the Simcoe County District School Board's list of capital priorities.

The province recently announced it would fund the board's previous top priority, the construction of a new elementary school in Bradford, as part of $650 million it was putting toward capital projects across the province.

The announcement came after the province said it would fund two different projects on the board's list, priorities 3 and 5.

So, what does that unexpected funding announcement mean for Orillia?

"I'm always hopeful," said Orillia trustee and board chair Debra Edwards.

"But timing is questionable in terms of any logical rollout of ministry capital funding."

While local trustees would like to see the government fund the Orillia priority - a new high school to amalgamate Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute and Park Street Collegiate Institute - it's not surprising that a new Bradford school has been approved.

"There's a huge growth occurring, which isn't the case in Orillia," Edwards said of enrolment.

But it is an election year, and "interesting things can happen," she said.

"Let the games begin."

Jodi Lloyd, trustee for Ramara, Severn and Tay townships, said the funding for Bradford "is great," but she is still waiting on the Ministry of Education to provide an explanation as to why the Orillia project has not been funded.

"If it wasn't selected in this round, why not? And what is required to get the funding?" she wondered.

"We made it clear that we were not pleased with the manner in which the rollout was done."

Lloyd said board staff are still in contact with ministry officials about the matter.

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