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Enrolment over-flow at new AUPS puts third school in play sooner

Posted July 7, 2014

The fact Alliston Union Public School (AUPS) will open in a new larger facility in September and still require about 12 classroom portables to accommodate its projected enrolment, will help the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) make a business case to build a third public school, John Dance Superintendent of Facility Services, told Free Press Online via email this afternoon.

AUPS, a replacement school, can accommodate 507 students, but enrolment when it opens in September is projected to include an additional 165 pupils, making the portables necessary.

Mr. Dance said there are approximately 1,200 students between AUPS and Ernest Cumberland School, and the optimum school enrolment should be between 450 to 550 students - "not the 750 and 450 in place now."

He points to full-day kindergarten being offered at both AUPS and ECES for some increase at both schools.

"The attendance area changes re-balance the population in the community of Alliston - Ernest Cumberland will be considerably lower in population this September with some room for growth," he wrote. "With a regional program such as French Immersion / EFSL at Alliston Union the growth that is taking place will result in portables as well."

The SCDSB owns a property in the north east section of the Mattamy subdivision, which is where a third school would be located.

"The Town of New Tecumseth is well aware of this plan and has been supportive as we have progressed through the site plan process," he wrote. "The school site, on John W. Taylor Avenue is already board property and part of a business case for a growth school is the ability to prove to the Ministry of Education that there is sufficient students to justify a new build. .... (Board) staff are planning for an ever increasing number required as Alliston and area grows and the expected business case for a third Alliston public school is developed."

Timing for a new school would depend on many factors, including making it through the Capital Planning which starts the business case process.

"We begin that in the fall with Board passing it in the winter. I cannot guess when; the Ministry judges the strength of the business cases. We anticipate the development of the case with the capital plan. We would complete an attendance area review to distribute school populations."

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