All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Friday, September 22nd, 2023

New Catholic elementary school for St. Gregory’s in Picton

Dave Cleave, developer; Tracy Thomlinson, Principal of St. Gregory Catholic School; MPP Todd Smith; Tom Dall, ALCDSB chair; Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson, David DeSantis, ALCDSB Director of Education and Grade 4-5 students Leah, Antonio, Isaac, Emma and Millie.

The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) has received $4.6 million from the Ontario government in land priorities funding to purchase a property in Picton in anticipation of the construction of a replacement St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School.

ALCDSB was awarded $8.7 million through the ministry’s 2019-2020 Capital Priorities program to construct a new 354-pupil Junior Kindergarten-to-Grade 8 school.

The current St. Gregory school site is 2.2 acres and is unable to accommodate further expansion to the existing facility. The new site to be acquired will be in the vicinity of Talbot Street at the west end of Picton, where considerable new home development has been planned and initiated.

“I’m pleased to see that our government is working with the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and municipal officials in Prince Edward County to ensure students and staff benefit from modern learning spaces in this new facility close to new population growth,” said MPP Todd Smith, during Thursday’s announcement.

ALCDSB officials were thrilled.

“On behalf of the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and the St. Gregory Catholic School community, I would like to thank the Ministry of Education and MPP Smith for their support in the approval of this capital priority as articulated in our multi-year strategic plan, which is a brand-new 354 pupil place school at 175 Talbot Street in Picton,” said David DeSantis, Director of Education.

The acquisition of a new site could also help Prince Edward County in pursuing the now surpluss Queen Elizabeth Public School in Picton. Following the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) decision to close the school in 2018, the board declared the Barker Street property surplus. Both the ALCDSB and Prince Edward County expressed interest in acquiring the school through the Ontario dispersal process, with the school board higher on the priority list.

Following discussions between the boards, the municipality, and Smith, the ALCDSB elected to pursue a new site and requested site acquisition approval and funding from the province.

Previous offers for the property were allowed to lapse and the HPEDSB restarted the dispersal process Monday.

Mayor Steve Ferguson has indicated the municipality plans to pursue the property. He expressed gratitude for the school and site funding, as well as the opportunity arising.

“With a new location for the school identified, we look forward to the possibility of acquiring and redeveloping the former Queen Elizabeth School property to support affordable and attainable housing in our community,” said Ferguson.

Smith is encouraged about the possibilities.

“The addition of more housing – including affordable units – remains a top priority for our government. I’m pleased the collaborative approach to site selection for this school could provide new opportunities within the municipality to achieve this objective,” said Smith.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Mike Barnes says:

    FYI, this was a small farm until Cleave Inc. bought it. You could visit the dairy cows from the Millenium trail, with beautiful barn in the back. Land was pesticide free and most likely has very fertile soil deep sandy loam. Ideal for an organic certification. It was classed RU1 on prime ag land. According to the new Official Plan, this land should have been kept as farmland. Not much land like this left.

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