K-12 School, Post-Secondary Programs, Community Theatre, Childcare and Outdoor Recreational Fields Proposed for an Expanded Community Hub in Wasaga Beach
The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, in collaboration with the Town of Wasaga Beach, has submitted a new K-12 school in Wasaga Beach as part of their Capital Priority submission to the Ministry of Education
Wasaga Beach, Oct. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — “Our community’s growth and prosperity depends on the quality of education we offer, and this school will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our children and of Wasaga Beach” said Mayor Brian Smith.
WASAGA BEACH – During its October 18th Board meeting, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) trustees approved their 2023-24 capital priorities submission, which includes a Kindergarten to Grade 12 Catholic school in the Town of Wasaga Beach. The Board ranked the project number two (2) on its Capital Priority List, which will now be reviewed by the Ministry of Education.
“On behalf of the Council of Wasaga Beach, we could not be more excited about this partnership,” said Mayor Smith. “I would like to thank the SMCDSB, Lakehead University, Canadore College, Simcoe County and Farsight Homes for their willingness to collaborate with the Town to put forward what we consider to be a truly innovative and transformational expanded community hub for our residents that will deliver world class learning opportunities for our students. Our approach and our goal is, and always has been, about putting our children first and this certainly accomplishes that. We look forward to working with our partners and the Ministry of Education to realize this new school facility in a timely manner.”
The Town and the SMCDSB have submitted a partnership proposal to create a campus adjacent to the new twin-pad arena library (TPAL) with a K-12 school that would have shared facilities with the state of the art TPAL. This will offer students a dynamic environment for education programming, a resource for research and study, and a hub for education, sport and community engagement. In addition to the K-12 school, the submission includes the creation of a first class community theatre that students will have access to during the school day, and the community in the evenings and weekends. This will fill a current facility void in the Wasaga Beach community and help support the growth of a strong arts and culture sector in Wasaga Beach.
The Town has established partnerships with Lakehead University and Canadore College and is working with both institutions on formalized agreements that would enable specialized programming through the TPAL and within shared facilities in the proposed K-12 school. This specialized programming would be targeted to skilled trade professions in childcare, construction, healthcare and hospitality fields in addition to specific programming opportunities for adult and lifelong learning. Simcoe County has provided a letter of support to bring much needed child care facilities to the community hub.
Town of Wasaga Beach CAO Andrew McNeill commented, “By leveraging the TPAL, we are able to deliver an expanded range of community uses in a manner that mitigates capital costs for all parties and will help deliver a K-12 school for our community at a more affordable price for the SMCDSB. This collaboration demonstrates the power of partnerships and we believe exemplifies what the province is looking to achieve with community hub projects.”
“The Town of Wasaga Beach approached the SMCDSB with a partnership opportunity and we were certainly excited to develop this concept with them and submit it to the Ministry of Education for approval” SMCDSB Trustee Shawn Cooper remarked. “ We are always looking for innovative ways to partner with the community to deliver the best possible education to our students. We know that the Ministry of Education is also supportive of these kinds of partnerships, and we hope that we are able to secure the necessary approvals and funding to move this project forward.”
“Wasaga Beach is a fast-growing community. I commend the Town of Wasaga Beach and the SMCDSB for working together to develop proposals to serve the needs of local families,” said Brian Saunderson, MPP for Simcoe-Grey. “After a decade when the previous government closed over 600 schools across the province, our government is investing about $15 billion over ten years to build new schools, improve existing facilities, and create new child care spaces.”
The SMCDSB will now present their Capital Priority List to the Ministry of Education, with funding announcements anticipated in the second quarter of 2024.
- Wasaga Beach is one of the fastest growing communities in Ontario. Our current population is 25,000 residents, with projections indicating that this number will double by 2051.
- Wasaga Beach is currently the largest community in Ontario without a secondary school, and notably, the only community with a population exceeding 15,000 residents that lacks a high school.
- Approximately 1,000 high school-aged children are being bused daily to schools located outside our community.
- SMCDSB high schools are open-access meaning any child is eligible to enroll.
- To learn more about the Twin Pad Arena Library
- To learn more about the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
- To learn more about Lakehead University
- To learn more about Canadore College
- To learn more about Simcoe County EarlyON Child and Family Centres
- Artist renderings and images available upon request
CONTACT: Sandra Watts Town of Wasaga Beach (705) 443-9248 [email protected]
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