Ground-breaking ceremonies held across London area as construction on new schools gets underway

Multiple ceremonies were held Monday to mark the beginning of construction of several new schools and childcare centres across the London region.

According to a news release, the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) held two ceremonies in London to mark the start of construction of two new schools and childcare centres.

The first of the two ceremonies took place Monday from 1:30 p.m. at 2770 Buroak Dr., the site of the future northwest facility, while the second ceremony took place at 3 p.m. at 3370 Regiment Rd., the site of the future southwest facility.

The two new schools will add approximately 1,200 additional student spaces. 

In addition to the schools, the new facilities will also feature 176 new infant, toddler and preschool child care spaces.

The estimated completion of the two London schools is September 2025. 

Local members of parliament and future students were in attendance at both events.

“This milestone highlights what’s possible when we work together to address the needs of our growing communities. Thames Valley remains committed to providing quality education for all students and looks forward to the many benefits these schools will bring to the City of London,” said TVDSB Chair Beth Mai.

A grand opening ceremony of a new childcare centre was held at the St. Mary Catholic Elementary School, located at 128 William St. in West Lorne, Ont. on April 29, 2024. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London)

Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said the government is “proud” to fund construction of the two schools, and whose “back-to-basics” curriculum will focus on reading, writing and math in order to equip students for the jobs of the future.

“It’s critically important that we provide working families with state-of-the-art classrooms that are close to home,” said Lecce.

Lecce added that it can’t take a decade to build a standardized school, and that they have an ambitious plan to increase the number of educators.

“I’m very grateful with the work we’re doing with the faculties of education, including at Western to help move more qualified merit based educators through the system,” he said. 

“This investment by the Ontario government to build two new schools is sure to have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of Londoners for years to come,” added Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “I believe that supporting children with the best education possible is the greatest way to ensure their future success.”

But the Thames Valley District School Board wasn’t alone in commemorating the construction of new educational and childcare facilities on Monday.

new regina mundi catholic college april 2024 1 6866351 1714423725030New Regina Mundi Catholic College, located at 5250 Wellington Rd. S. in London, Ont., is seen on April 29, 2024. The property will serve as the location for a new high school. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London)

According to a news release from the London District Catholic School Board, a blessing and ground-breaking ceremony was held at New Regina Mundi Catholic College, located at 5250 Wellington Rd. S. at 4:30 p.m.

Serving as a replacement for the college and beng built on the existing property, the new $51.6 million high school will have a capacity of approximately 700 students. 

The high school is tentatively scheduled to open fall 2026.

In addition, a grand opening ceremony was held in 10 a.m. at the St. Mary Catholic Elementary School, located at 128 William St. in West Lorne, for the grand opening of a new 15-space childcare centre.

“The challenge is that there is such a great need for childcare spaces and especially in rural communities. Often times its easier to build a childcare center in a large city, but in rural communities it is much more of a challenge, and so we are so thrilled, a rural community like this that is also in desperate need, has the opportunity to have a childcare like this,” said Teresa Sulowski, manager of Children Services, St. Thomas & Elgin County. 

— With files from CTV News London’s Reta Ismail

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