Children residing in Rougeville will no longer have to factor in long commute times into their weekly schedule. Construction began earlier this month on a new Toronto District School Board elementary school in Rougeville, slated to open in September 2013.
The school will be located at 50 Rouge Park Dr. in the Meadowvale Road and Sheppard Avenue East area. It is a collaboration between the TDSB and the Ministry of Education as the first elementary school in Rougeville. The school has thus far received $12 million in funding as part of the TDSB’s ongoing efforts to support students.
Shaun Chen, the vice chair and trustee for Ward 21, where the school will be located, believes students in Rougeville shouldn’t have to travel long distances every morning to receive education.
“The new school will be a growth school, which means there is currently no local school presence,” Chen said. “Since about 2005 when focus started moving into the community, students have been bussed to holding schools that have been identified as having available space.”
With no current local school in place in Rougeville, attendance at the yet to be named elementary school is expected to be high.
Richia Bissoondath, communications coordinator for the Toronto District School Board, contends that the school will be well populated to begin with and will only continue to grow.
“There are a sufficient number of students residing in the community to support a viable elementary program,” Bissoondath said. “Enrolment in the first year is expected to be approximately 500-550 students, with the expectation that it will increase over the next five to seven years.”
In a mixed population area like Rougeville one would expect that feelings would be mixed in regards to the construction of a new school. However, Chen says this is not the case.
“The local residents wanted the school very badly as it’s not ideal to have the students bussed every morning,” he said. “I would safely say that everyone wants to see a local school in Rougeville. It’s been a project we have been advocating for many years now and it’s a pleasure to see it moving forward with shovels in the ground.”
With ground broken, construction underway and a principal selected in Wayne Leavy, all that is left is for the school to be named. Then Rougeville will finally have its very own elementary school.