The education minister has announced a $19-million investment in the construction of a new Catholic French-language high school in London, Ont., as well as the renovation of existing childcare facilities.

Ontario has allocated $18.9 million to the construction of a new high school for the French Catholic board, Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, as well as $267,000 for a child care refurbishment at the French public board’s École élémentaire Marie-Curie.

According to the government, the investment for the two schools would assist the development of 587 student places and 39 licenced child care spaces.

“Our government realises the significance of providing contemporary schools and affordable child care to London’s French-language population, which is why we are happy to invest in London once more by supporting a new school and a new child care centre,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.

“This investment is part of our continuous commitment and strategy to develop, expand, and modernise schools and child care facilities throughout our province, which is backed by the greatest level of investment in French-language education in Ontario history.”

The new École secondaire catholique Monseigneur-Bruyère will be built on an undetermined London location and will serve grades 7 through 12, with a capacity of 587 pupils.

“For the past seven years, the capital plan of the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence has identified this construction project as a priority for our families and community in London and the surrounding areas,” said Joseph Picard, Director of Education for the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence.

“We greet today’s news of a new French-Catholic secondary school in London with great enthusiasm.” Students will benefit from this investment by having access to a cutting-edge learning environment that will allow them to create and prosper in the digital era.”

The Early Years Capital Program (EYCP) is providing $267,412 for a child care refurbishment at École élémentaire Marie-Curie at 40 Hunt Club Dr., which will contain both a toddler and preschool room with 39 licenced child care spots.

“Through this investment, the Ministry recognises the urgent need for new Francophone child care spaces in the London area and supports the school board and its partners in their shared mission to contribute to the sustainability of the Franco-Ontarian community,” said Benoit Fortin, vice-chair of Conseil scolaire Viamonde.

The initiatives are part of a $600 million provincial-wide commitment to support new education and child care spaces announced recently by the province. The whole contribution will fund 78 education and child-care initiatives.

The initiative is part of the Ontario government’s plan to provide $14 billion in school building funding over a ten-year period.

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