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School board pushes back Barrie Central discussions

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Barrie Central Collegiate students and the school community will have to wait until next month to hear more about the future option for the downtown school.

During a regular meeting of the Simcoe County District School Board on Wednesday night, trustees deferred discussion about the capital budget until the Feb. 22 meeting.

As part of the priority capital project list being considered by trustees, board staff have recommended that a 400-pupil secondary school be constructed on the Barrie Central site with partnerships to share in the development of the school.

The board has already approved a motion that states that upon securing viable financial partnerships by Sept. 30, 2014, that a capital business case related to the shared development and use of a new secondary school on the Barrie Central site would be pursued.

Superintendent of facility services John Dance said earlier this week that the 400-student figure represents the number of students projected to attend the school in 2016, but added the number is a "potential benchmark" for construction and could vary depending on partnership opportunities and what programs are available.

At the February meeting, trustees will also consider a staff recommendation that a new secondary school be built in the south end, also part of the capital plan.

Growth pressures in the southeast part of the city, as well as future increased population in the lands annexed from Innisfil, make a new high school necessary, staff stated in the capital plan report.

Other items in that report to be discussed at the Feb. 22 meeting include attendance area reviews for five Innisfil elementary schools - Alcona Glen, Goodfellow, Innisfil Central, Killarney Beach and Sunnybrae - as well as Ferndale Woods and Holly Meadows in Barrie, and Hewitt's Creek and the new Innishore South schools, also in Barrie. An attendance review is also being considered for the three Orillia high schools: Orillia District Collegiate Vocational Institute, Park Street and Twin Lakes.

Other capital plan items include the full-day early learning kindergarten program, facility partnerships and school accessibility.

Anyone interested in making a delegation at the Feb. 22 meeting must contact the board by 1 p.m. on Feb. 15 by e-mailing lrobyn@scdsb.on.ca.



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