New high school in Lincoln, Grimsby gets $50 million from the Province
Published July 16, 2021 at 3:54 pm
When Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce stopped into the Town of Lincoln yesterday (July 15), he didn’t come empty-handed.
He was armed with a $50.4 million cheque from the Province that will go towards the construction of the new West Niagara Secondary School.
However, the opening of the new high school, slated for September 2022, earlier set off alarms for residents of Lincoln and Grimsby as its opening will mean the end for South Lincoln High School, Grimsby Secondary School and Beamsville District Secondary School.
Back in March 2017, area parents were livid when the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) voted in favour of a motion to close three high schools in order to create a larger, newer one, unnamed at the time but now called West Niagara Secondary School.
They weren’t alone. Both the Town of Lincoln and the Town of Grimsby passed motions voicing strong opposition. Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for West Niagara-Glanbrook, also stood up at Queen’s Park to blast the closures.
While the new high school on the border of Grimsby and Lincoln was meant to open September 2020, delays have set it back to the point while the ground is just being broken now.
It is expected that 1,500 students will attend the new high school, a state-of-the-art facility will “include a theatre, greenhouse and athletic facilities that are unmatched anywhere in Niagara,” according to Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton.
At yesterday’s ceremony, Lecce offered up a conciliatory tone, saying, “After a decade of school closures in rural Ontario, our government knows that families in West Niagara deserve modern and accessible classrooms.”
Knowing the battle had been lost, in the end, Lincoln decided to work in tandem with the DSBN and secured a commitment that the school’s new theatre facility could be used by the Town.
“The theatre will boast seating for 750 people and will be large enough to be used for large art productions as well as rentals of the space for productions or public and corporate events,” said Easton.
At the ceremony, she concluded, “Thanks again to the Ontario government – including representatives from many ministries – for making this project a priority and working closely with the Town and DSBN to address site issues quickly and efficiently.”
(Photo courtesy of the Town of Lincoln)Insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies