The City and the school board will negotiate the sale of land for the new secondary school

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The city will begin negotiations with the Catholic school board for the sale of land for the construction of a new secondary school.

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A resolution presented by con. Dan McCreary, at a recent Planning and Administration Committee meeting, asked city staff to enter into negotiations with the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board for the sale of 10 to 15 acres of land owned to town near Powerline Road.

City staff must report to council with a purchase and sale agreement no later than the fourth quarter of the year.

The resolution also called on city staff to return to council with a “road map to accelerate the planning and development” of the new school, “taking into account the block planning process, development demand and service requirements,” and the school board’s request to begin construction by 2024.

“One of the hurdles with this project is that construction can’t start until the services are there, but what we need to understand is that this construction won’t take a few months,” Coun said. Greg Martin. “It will be quite a long construction process and the fact that he has to wait for the services to be in place only adds extra years to him when construction could be taking place at the same time as the services are installed.

Martin said planning staff need to find a way to allow construction to start before services, such as roads and sewers, are completed “knowing they will be there in time for completion. of this project”.

“This is something I’m confident our staff can find a workaround for,” he said.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce came to Brantford in April to announce $45.7 million in provincial funding for Brantford’s first new high school in 30 years.

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Emphasis will be placed on the fact that the 1,100-student facility is a skilled trades center that will also house 128 licensed child care spaces.

At the time, Rick Petrella, chairman of the Catholic school board, said they were “full to the brim” with their town’s two high schools – St. John’s College and Assumption College – operating well beyond capacity. .

Lecce said the Brantford school was the “biggest investment” Ontario will make in the province this year under its capital construction program, calling construction the “most urgent priority” of all. the identified projects.

In October, Lecce announced a $16.2 million investment in a new elementary school for the Grand Erie District School Board in the city’s southwest, where existing schools are also overcapacity. This project will include a library and a community center.

Com. Brian VanTilborg requested that city staff provide information at the July 26 council meeting on what would be needed to get services installed and school construction to proceed concurrently. Final approval of the resolution is required by the board.

“The timelines they’re looking for for 2024 seem very fast to me,” VanTilborg said.