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J. J. O’Neill Catholic School to increase capacity thanks to provincial funding

J.J. O’Neill Catholic School in Napanee. Image via the school website.

Ontario is investing $9.9 million to improve Greater Napanee’s J. J. O’Neill Catholic Elementary School by creating 331 new student spaces as part of the provincial government’s commitment to “building modern, accessible, and technologically connected schools for Ontario youth.” 

This investment for the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) was announced by Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings – Lennox and Addington.

“This large addition at J. J. O’Neill Catholic Elementary School is great news for the growing community of Greater Napanee,” said Kramp. “This investment will provide additional choice and greater flexibility for families and new opportunities for students.”

Highlights of the J. J. O’Neill project at 240 Marilyn Avenue in Napanee. include:

  • 331 elementary student spaces
  • 49 new licensed child care spaces
  • 3 new child care rooms

“This news is very exciting for our Catholic learning community in Napanee. This school improvement will provide additional opportunities for our students to excel in a modern, accessible and state-of-the-art facility,” said David DeSantis, Director of Education. “I look forward to working with our team and the school community on this exciting project. We thank the province for the productive collaboration and investment in our Catholic schools.”

ALCDSB said that more information on this exciting project will be shared with J.J O’Neill Catholic School families, staff and the community as soon as it becomes available.

The project is part of a province-wide investment of more than $600 million to support new school and child care spaces recently announced by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, according to a release from MPP Kramp’s office. The overall investment will reportedly support 78 school and child-care-related projects. As part of this investment, the province said they have dedicated more than $565 million to create more than 19,700 new student spaces and 1,500 child care spaces at schools across the province.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made safer schools a priority, which is why we continue to invest in modern and accessible learning spaces with improved ventilation,” said Minister Lecce. “This investment is part of our multi-year plan to build, expand, and update schools and child care spaces across our province. It will leave a lasting legacy that benefits families for years to come.”

The investment is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to provide $14 billion to support school construction over 10 years, according to the release. There are currently more than 300 child care and education building-related projects in development across Ontario with more than 100 actively under construction. The Ontario government said that they have allocated more than $600 million to support ventilation improvements in schools across Ontario. Students with the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB have reportedly benefited from an investment of $5.3 million for ventilation improvements and over 750 installed HEPA filter units.

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