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Province approves new 900-student high school for south Guelph (Updated)

Will be three to five years before it's finished

Guelph will be getting a new $25-million public high school in the south end.

It will be the first high school built by the public board since Centennial CVI was completed 50 years ago..

MPP Liz Sandals and school board officials made the announcement Friday morning at the head office of the Upper Grand District School Board.

"All of the high schools in Guelph are bursting at the seams," Sandals said. "This will take the pressure off a number of schools in Guelph."

"This is an exciting day for the Upper Grand District School Board," said board chair Linda Busuttil.

The new school will initially accommodate up to 900 students, with room for future expansion.  It will be located on an 18-acre parcel of former farmland at the northwest corner of Arkell Road and Victoria Road.

The board had been seeking a 1,200-student school.
School board Director of Operations Paul Scinocca said the new school will likely take between three and five years to be completed.

"It will take some time. It takes a year and a half just to get through the design portion of it and a year and a half, or just slightly less, to construct it," Scinocca said, adding that there are also strict approval processes through the province that take time.

"We have to come up with a strategy, because we want to make sure that when we build for 900, we can also expand in the future," Scinocca said.

Jennifer Passy, Manager of Planning with the board, said there are currently around 600 students who live within walking distance of that location already. Actual boundaries for the new school will be determined through the board's policies, as will the name of the new school.

The board has also yet to determine if all grades will initially be filled or if it will be filled over an extended time period.

The school board is also awaiting some necessary rezoning from the city.

The school board has tried for four years to get the province to green light the project and this year they have.

"It's a wonderful thing to have that complete community now in that area of town," said Mayor Cam Guthrie at the announcement.