Ontario Building and Expanding Schools in Barrie and Innisfil

Province supports new student spaces

The Ontario government is investing $67.3 million in the Simcoe County District School Board for two new schools and a significant addition to a school, helping working families in Barrie and Innisfil. These investments, announced by Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie—Innisfil, will support the creation of 1,695 new student spaces as part of the government’s commitment to building state-of-the-art learning spaces for Ontario students.
“As Innisfil and Barrie continue to grow exponentially, our government is investing in new schools and additions to ensure that the youth in our communities are supported in modern classrooms well equipped to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “I am excited to announce a brand-new school in Innisfil – Alcona Elementary School, along with an addition for Nantyr Shores Secondary School, and a brand-new school in Barrie – Barrie Southeast #1 Elementary School.”
These projects are part of a $1.3 billion investment to support new school construction and expansions to existing schools, including child care spaces, announced by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, as part of the Capital Priorities Program.
The overall investment, which is the highest ever made in a single year, supports 60 school-related projects – 39 new school builds and 21 expansions to existing schools – including child care spaces for 27 projects. This funding will add more than 27,000 new student spaces and more than 1,700 licensed child care spaces at schools across Ontario.
“This $1.3 billion in funding represents the single largest investment in school building in Ontario history,” said Minister Lecce. “We are stepping up with a massive investment to build the homes, schools, and communities our province needs, and to ensure children have access to state-of-the-art, STEM focused schools close to home that gives them real life and job skills to succeed in the future.”
The new plan will provide school boards with more flexibility and support to get shovels in the ground quicker and have more options to use existing buildings in their communities. These changes are part of the government’s strategy to ensure that the public education system focuses on what matters most: teaching important life-long skills such as reading, writing and math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; and maximizing capital assets.
“Our government is investing in new schools and improved infrastructure across the province to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families, and growing communities.” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “These investments are part of our historic $185 billion over the next ten years, to build and deliver the critical infrastructure Ontarians deserve today, and for future generations to come.”
The 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario continues to support the province’s work being delivered through Bill 98, the Better Schools and Students Outcomes Act, building schools faster and better employing taxpayer-funded assets.
“This funding announcement is vey welcome news. The population of both Innisfil and Barrie has grown significantly. Given the urgent accommodation needs in the area, a new elementary school in Barrie, a new elementary school in Innisfil, and an expansion to Nantyr Shores Secondary school topped the list of the board’s capital projects submitted in the 2023-24 priority cycle,” says John Dance, Director of Education. “Our sites are “shovel-ready”, and we look forward to working with the City of Barrie and Town of Innisfil as we build and expand spaces for SCDSB students to learn and grow.”
Highlights of the projects include:

A $26.9 million investment for a new Barrie Southeast #1 Elementary School to be located at Dean Avenue & Mapleview Drive East in Barrie, creating 662 new student spaces

A $27.6 million investment for a new Alcona Elementary School to be located at Innisfil Beach Road & Jans Boulevard in Innisfil, creating 619 new student spaces.

A $12.7 million investment for an expansion to Nantyr Shores Secondary School located at 1146 Anna Maria Ave in Innisfil, creating 414 new secondary student spaces.

In December 2023, the Ministry of Education announced Ontario’s plan to help build schools faster through a transparent, accountable and more efficient process. In the recent Capital Priorities round, school boards were encouraged to
standardize the design of new school construction, identify opportunities to work
together on joint-use school projects, and bring forward shovel ready proposals.

Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested more than $3.6 billion in capital construction projects in education, including 139 new schools, 109 additions and renovations to existing facilities, creating more than 98,000 student spaces and over 8,000 new licensed child care spaces.

For the 2023-24 school year, the province is providing school boards with approximately $1.4 billion in funding to revitalize and renew aged building systems and components.

The investment is part of Ontario’s commitment to provide about $16 billion to support new school construction, repair, and renewal over 10 years.

The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 ensures the public education system focuses on what matters most: teaching important life-long skills such as reading, writing and math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; maximizing capital assets of boards to support building modern schools faster and better utilizing current school capacity.

In March 2022, Ontario secured a six-year, $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government that will lower fees for families to an average of $10 a day for children under the age of six. Ontario aims to reach that target by September 2025.