As part of the province’s ongoing efforts to build and improve local schools, the Ontario government has provided the Algoma District School Board and Conseil scolaire du Grand Nord with approval to award the tender for the new Blind River Joint School. This is supported by an investment of $50.5 million.
Once completed, this project will deliver 381 JK-12 spaces, 64 child care spaces and 72 French-Language elementary spaces for local families. The investment is part of Ontario’s commitment to providing approximately $15 billion to support school construction, repair, and renewal over 10 years. Since 2018, the government has approved nearly 200 school construction projects and the development of more than 300 child care and education building-related projects, of which more than 100 are actively under construction.
“The funding for a new joint school at Blind River is great news for the community,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “This investment will ensure families and students have access to a quality learning environment in the years ahead.”
Additionally, Ontario is taking action to ensure that school board capital assets are used effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of growing communities, support student learning and ensure value for taxpayer dollars. The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 empowers decision-makers to build modern schools faster by better utilizing school capacity, reducing barriers for school boards to facilitate agreements for schools in multi-use buildings such as condo towers, and shortening planning time through design standardization when constructing, renovating, or making additions to schools. “We are determined to build schools and expansions faster, part of our commitment to modernize schools in fast growing communities,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We are proud to deliver a new, state-of-the-art Blind River Joint School for local families, along with increasing funding, staffing and a back-to-basics focus on reading, writing and math skills to help ensure students graduate with confidence that they can succeed in good-paying careers.” Highlights of the project include:
- 381 new JK-12 student spaces
- 72 French-Language elementary spaces
- 4 new child care rooms (64 new child care spaces)
- 2 room EarlyOn Child and Family Centre
“Under Premier Ford’s leadership, we’re building more state-of-the-art schools to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families and growing communities. By investing in innovative and modern learning spaces, we’re ensuring students have access to the quality education that will provide them with lifelong skills and education in a safe and healthy environment,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “These investments are one of the ways we’re delivering on our promise to build Ontario, with an infrastructure budget of more than $148 billion over the next decade.”
ADSB Director of Education, Lucia Reece, shared, “We are most grateful for the Ministry’s support of this joint project, which we feel is a unique opportunity for both ADSB and CS Grand Nord, and for the community of Blind River. Students will have a modern facility with innovative learning spaces, and they will see three languages and cultures – English, French and Ojibway – working in harmony to support student achievement and well-being. We are excited about the future and the potential for unique programming and cultural opportunities, so let the building begin!”
“The Conseil scolaire du Grand Nord is very pleased to be working with the Algoma District School Board,” says Sébastien Fontaine, Director of Education. “The construction of this facility will enable us to offer a range of quality services and programs to our students. This initiative meets the expectations of parents and the needs of the entire Blind River community. CS Grand Nord would like to thank the Ontario government for facilitating this initiative, which will enable both school boards to offer quality education in a modern and innovative environment.”
Algoma DSB – Blind River JK-12 and Conseil scolaire du Grand Nord – École publique des
Pins Blanc will be jointly located at 180 Youngfox Road in Blind River