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Plans moving forward for Elgin Ave. School upgrades

REFORMER STAFF 

Elgin Avenue Public School in Simcoe will be closed for 14 months to allow for $8.5-million in renovations. (File Photo)

Elgin Avenue Public School in Simcoe will be closed for 14 months to allow for $8.5-million in renovations. (File Photo)

SIMCOE  - 

Lynndale Heights Public School will see some big changes next year as the Grand Erie District School Board shuffles its cards.

With a $8.5-million redevelopment of Elgin Avenue Public School in Simcoe slated for the 2018-19 year, Lynndale Heights will house the students of Elgin Ave. on a temporary basis.

The board will rent 10 portables at Lynndale Heights to accommodate the influx of students. Norfolk County has approved the use of Lynndale Park for overflow throughout the school year. The estimated cost of the venture is $515,100. The board will have the option to purchase the portables following the year.

The majority of Elgin students will ride two buses that will each complete two loops morning and night with a total cost estimate pegged at $70,000.

The decision was made at a Committee of the Whole Board meeting in last fall. The board also decided that the Elgin Ave's snoezelen and self-contained rooms will be relocated to Bloomsburg Public School while the enrichment program will relocate to Teeterville Public School.

A transition team has been established to help each student and family handle the changes – it includes the principal of both Elgin Ave. and Lynndale Heights, a school council rep from each facility, a teacher from each building and the Family of Schools Superintendent of Norfolk Elementary Schools.

A decision has not been made on whether the two schools will remain separate or be joined together in the classroom during the year. The transition committee met late last month and is expected to make a presentation to the board in May.

In the fall of 2016, school board trustees voted to close West Lynn Public School and upgrade Elgin Ave.

The renovations at Elgin will add 98 student spaces with three child-care rooms and a child and family program room. A new elevator will also be installed and a number of fire code and electrical upgrades will be done, along with mechanical upgrades to provide fresh air ventilation to the entire school.

Elgin Ave. is set to re-open in 2019-20, at which time West Lynn Public School will close.

“The resulting retrofit will modernize this 60-plus-year-old facility to reflect a learning environment that should serve the community for another 60 years or more,” said Rafal Wyszynski, the board’s superintendent of business and treasurer.