Cost of Errol Village School addition jumps 62 per cent

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Construction on the addition to Errol Village Public School will start this summer and it is going to cost a lot more than originally anticipated.

Ministry of Education announced Tuesday the Lambton-Kent District School Board will receive $6,144,624 to complete the addition with two classrooms and three childcare rooms. That’s about 62 per cent more than the original cost of $3.8 million when the project was first approved in April 2022.

In the news release, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said “we are determined to build schools and expansions faster, part of our commitment to modernize schools in fast growing communities.”

The board expects construction to begin July 2 and should be complete by March 3, so the move in can take place March Break.

Even with the two new classrooms, the Errol Village school will be over capacity. The public school was built for 190 students. It houses 253 according to the board’s data – about 33 per cent over capacity. Post construction, if the school population remains constant, Errol Village will still be 17 students over capacity.

And it is unlikely the school population will remain the same. Errol Village in Plympton-Wyoming’s Lakeshore residential district is one of the fastest growing communities in Lambton County.

Hundreds of homes are in the process of being built now in the area. April 29, Plympton-Wyoming council discussed another subdivision with 175 homes about a kilometre away from the school. One parent asked at the time; “Where will all these kids go now. Our school is crammed full now.”

Director of Education John Howitt did mention to the trustees recently one way to elevate overcrowding in fast developing communities would be to adjust school boundaries, moving students to schools with empty classrooms. But in a recent interview with The Independent, he downplayed the idea saying boundary reviews were not taking place at this time.