School board hits the brakes on West Niagara Secondary School


Published March 10, 2022 at 10:39 am

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) has the students. They just don’t have the school yet.

Delays on the construction of the new West Niagara Secondary School have meant that students in Grimsby Secondary School and Beamsville District Secondary School will stay put for another school year.

“Our goal has always been to open the doors of what we know will be an exceptional, beautiful new school, in September 2022,” said Warren Hoshizaki, DSBN Director of Education in a release to parents.

“However, due to the impacts of the global pandemic, and the issues and delays it caused, the West Niagara Secondary School building will not be ready to open by September 2022. When we have a clearer projection of when the building will be completed, we will share an update.”

In actual fact, the new high school was meant to open in September 2020 but has been plagued with delays.

So many delays, in fact, that Lincoln Town Council was poised to purchase Beamsville District Secondary School outright for town use six months ago. Obviously, that idea remains on hold.

However, the further delays have the DSBN scrambling. In the end, they have decided that students in the existing Grimsby and Beamsville high schools will be enrolling as West Niagara Secondary School students this September.

Only students presently in Grade 12 will be graduating as either Grimsby or Beamsville eventual alumni – in fact, the last graduating classes for those two schools ever. Those in Grades 9, 10 and 11 right now will all be considered West Niagara students as of September.

However, Hoshizaki acknowledged there will be some juggling between the two existing schools. Students will attend the Grimsby location for all regular classes and programming while switching to the Beamsville school for specialty courses and programs

Buses will now take all students to the Grimsby school for their classes and then shuttle between Grimsby and Beamsville for other activities.

The new high school has been riddled with controversy since the day it was first suggested. Back in March 2017, area parents were livid when the DSBN voted in favour of a motion to close three high schools in order to create the new West Niagara Secondary School.

As well as the Grimsby and Beamsville high school, which are still pending closure, the DSBN already shut down the South Lincoln High School.

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