Ontario gives approval to begin addition at St. Joseph Catholic School

BELLEVILLE – As part of Ontario's ongoing efforts to build and improve local schools, the province has provided the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board with approval to award the tender for construction of a $19.8-million addition to St. Joseph Elementary School.

The addition will provide a new, quality learning environment for the students of Belleville with more than 300 new student spaces, three child care rooms, and two EarlyON rooms. This project is part of the province’s capital investment program to support students with better learning spaces.

“Our government’s support for a new addition to St. Joseph Catholic School is great news for our community,” said Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte. “This investment will ensure families and students have access to a quality learning environment in the years to come.”  

Ontario’s investment in new and updated schools will create the foundation for a modern learning environment for thousands of students across the province.

“Our government is committed to keeping students learning in-person with improved ventilation, internet connectivity, and safety top of mind,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “By building an addition to St. Joseph Elementary School, our government is supporting Belleville families with modern schools and a new child care centre for local families." 

Highlights of the addition include:

  • 334 elementary student spaces 
  • 49 licensed child care spaces
  • three child care rooms
  • two EarlyON rooms

St. Joseph Elementary School is located at 405 Bridge Street East in Belleville. 

Tom Dall, the Board Chair at the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, welcomed provincial approval to proceed with the project.

“Our Catholic schools are faith filled learning communities where each member is loved, inspired and successful. This addition to St. Joseph Catholic School will provide these students and the community with even more opportunities to excel and reach their full potential,” said Dall.

The Ontario government has allocated more than $600 million to support ventilation improvements in schools across Ontario as part of its plans for a safer return to school. The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board has benefited from an investment of $5.2 million for ventilation improvements and has 751 HEPA filter units in place.

QUICK FACTS

  • On November 4, the province released the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario. The plan lays out how the government will build the foundation for Ontario’s recovery and prosperity by getting shovels in the ground on projects like new schools and child care.
  • Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested over $1.5 billion in capital projects in education, including 76 new schools, 75 additions and renovations to existing facilities and 4,908 new licensed child care places.
  • For 2021-22, the province is also providing school boards with $1.4 billion in funding to renew and maintain existing schools.
  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are providing $656.5 million in funding for critical infrastructure projects to protect students and staff from COVID-19 in the province's schools through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
  • The federal government provides 2.5 per cent of the total cost support for early learning and child care operating expenses in Ontario, with Ontario families, the provincial and municipal governments providing the remainder.
  • Ontario has provided emergency child care for the school-aged children of frontline workers, including public safety and health care workers, as well as those working with vulnerable populations, at no out-of-pocket cost. In 2021, at its peak, this program provided over 12,000 children with high-quality child care each day across 717 sites province-wide.
  • Ontario is providing a 20 per cent enhancement of the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit for 2021. This will increase support from $1,250 to $1,500 per family, on average, providing about $75 million in additional support for the 2021 child care expenses of over 300,000 families.