Major community hub to replace one of Mississauga’s oldest schools in the City Centre

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Published May 8, 2023 at 2:53 pm

Aerial view of T.L. Kennedy Secondary School in central Mississauga.

A major project is in the works that will replace one of Mississauga’s oldest high schools with a much bigger school that will be part of a larger joint-use community facility.

A City of Mississauga feasibility study is looking at a plan to turn T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, which opened in 1953, and surrounding land into an impressive Cooksville Community Hub. It would include a new high school, double gym, community centre, library, track and field facility, and possibly a swimming pool and fitness centre.

A report from City staff is going to this Wednesday’s (May 10) meeting of general committee for discussion among councillors and staff.

The Cooksville Joint-Use Feasibility Study looks at two versions of the proposed Hurontario St./Dundas St. area community hub: the preferred option, which would cost $72.3 million (to include a swimming pool and fitness centre), and the other 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 of Mississauga and Peel District School Board (PDSB).

The report to be tabled this week concludes 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 PDSB. Users of the joint-use facility would benefit from sharing and exposure to new activities at the community centre and library. Families can 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 is concerned, the report notes that the City and PDSB “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.”

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)

Ward 7 Councillor Dipika Damerla, in whose ward you’ll find T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, spoke at a meeting earlier this year about the need for such a facility in the Cooksville area, just south of City Centre.

At that meeting, Damerla congratulated her Ward 5 colleague, Carolyn Parrish, on finally getting a $3.3 million joint-use track and field facility at a school in her area–Ascension of Our Lord Secondary School in Malton–off the ground.

In concluding her brief remarks, Damerla turned her focus to T.L. Kennedy, which opened nearly 70 years ago in September 1953, to about 450 students. It still houses a dirt/gravel 400-metre track on its property.

Today, the Cooksville area high school, located on Hurontario St. just north of Dundas St., boasts about double its original student population.

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

On an interesting and more historical note, T.L. Kennedy housed a rifle range/club and cadet training facility in its basement back in the 1950s and ’60s.

The gun club lasted until 1975, when the mass shooting at Brampton Centennial took place.

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