Huge new community centre and high school would replace one of oldest schools in Mississauga

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Published July 10, 2024 at 4:08 pm

Future plans for TL Kennedy Secondary School in Mississauga.
Aerial view of T.L. Kennedy Secondary School in central Mississauga.

A proposal to tear down one of Mississauga’s oldest high schools and replace it with a much bigger school that would be part of a larger joint-use community facility is awaiting the green light from the provincial government.

The City of Mississauga and Peel District School Board plan to work together to turn T.L. Kennedy Secondary School and surrounding land into an impressive Cooksville Community Hub.

The reimagined facility would stand on the same Hurontario Street property, just north of Dundas Street, as the current high school, which opened in 1953. When completed, it would include a new secondary school, double gym, community centre, library, track and field facility, and possibly a swimming pool and fitness centre.

A report in 2023 from city staff noted a Cooksville Joint-Use Feasibility Study looks at two proposed versions of the community hub:

  • the preferred option, which would cost $72.3 million and include a swimming pool and fitness centre
  • a secondary option, with a price tag of $43.7 million (without the swimming pool and fitness facility)

In both cases, the facility would be jointly owned and paid for by the city and the school board.

Diagram shows the more expensive of two options being considered. The above plan costs just over $72 million and includes a swimming pool and fitness centre. (Image: City of Mississauga)

Malon Edwards, manager of communications for the Peel District School Board, told INsauga.com via email the local board is waiting for a response from Ontario’s Ministry of Education before proceeding.

Such large-scale projects require the province to sign off on the school board’s plans to fund the facility.

A city spokesperson told INsauga.com they had no further details to provide and also indicated the deal appears to be waiting on Ontario government approval.

The city’s 2023 report concluded that “a joint-use community hub is achievable and would provide greater benefit to the community than stand-alone buildings on stand-alone sites.

“It provides the opportunity for shared amenities like the library, gym and track and field. With its compact footprint, the facility will ultimately reduce individual space needs and operating costs to both the city and (school board). Users of the joint-use facility would benefit from sharing and exposure to new activities at the community centre and library.”

New facility would benefit families, officials say

The report continued, noting the hub would allow families to “participate in multiple different activities on the same site and multi-generational community connections are enhanced and encouraged through the building design.”

As far as the price tag goes, the report notes the city and school board “would agree to a capital cost-sharing strategy with each partner responsible for the associated costs of their independent building spaces while the costs for a joint-use double gym and track and field are split 50/50.”

Mississauga Ward 7 Coun. Dipika Damerla said earlier such a facility is needed in the Cooksville area, just south of the City Centre.

She pointed to a $3.3 million joint-use track and field facility at Ascension of Our Lord Secondary School in Malton as a prime example of how such partnerships can work.

When T.L. Kennedy opened nearly 71 years ago, in September 1953, it welcomed some 450 students. Today, the student population is about double that number and the school still houses a dirt/gravel 400-metre track on its property.

A new high school would house some 1,500 students, the city report shows.

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