Saturday, July 20, 2024

Brockville’s new Swift Waters Elementary School receives just under $1M in additional funding for unforseen costs

Swift Waters’ groundbreaking ceremony held last year. – Photo via UCDSB

The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has announced that Brockville’s new Swift Waters Elementary School will receive additional funding from the Ministry of Education, ensuring the project stays within budget and remains on schedule to open in September 2024.

A total of $998,876 in additional funding has been allocated to cover unforeseen costs related to the property development since the project’s initial funding and tendering.

Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Superintendent of Business at UCDSB, explained that unexpected site costs often arise during the construction of new schools due to changes in building codes and geological factors.

“We always carefully plan for what we know when we first seek funding, but during the time the proposal goes in to when shovels are in the ground, things can change,” explained Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Superintendent of Business.

For example, at Swift Waters, changes to below grade seismic building codes, unknown below grade rocks and removal of excess site soil are some extra costs that have been identified.

“We are appreciative to the Ministry of Education for this additional funding and their dedication to enhancing the educational facilities in this community,” stated Augusta-Brockville (Ward 5) Trustee Michel LaBonté.

“I want to thank Minister Lecce for his continued support of the construction of Swift Waters Elementary School,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. “I remain committed to working on behalf of the families I represent to ensure this project is completed on time and that students in my community begin the new school year in this beautiful, state-of-the-art facility.”

Upon opening, Swift Waters Elementary School will consolidate students from Commonwealth Public School and Toniata Public School, which are set to close at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. The school will accommodate 504 students initially, with an expected enrollment of approximately 440 students at launch.

Featuring 17 regular classrooms, four Kindergarten rooms, a gym, learning commons, and green initiatives like solar panels and electric car charging stations, Swift Waters Elementary School aims to provide modern facilities and services. It will also include EarlyON rooms for families and children aged 0-6 and child care rooms with 64 spaces.

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