At their Monday, January 22nd (2018) regular meeting Amherstburg Town Council approved the sale of 15 acres of property to the Greater Essex County District School Board for a new high school.
GECDSB staff had been reviewing possible sites since October, 2016 when the Ministry of Education awarded a $24.3 million grant for the construction of the school, which will consolidate the General Amherst HS and Western SS communities. The agreed-upon location, which was owned by the municipality, is the south side of Centennial Park off Simcoe St. between Fryer St. and Victoria St. South. (see map, pictured, above, left).
"It's rewarding to work with community leadership that has a high regard for the complex process of building a new school and an appreciation for the needs of the Board," says Director of Education Erin Kelly. "We must work within the guidelines and budgets set out by the ministry to try and provide the best facilities and opportunities we can for our students. When we work together as partners, sharing those important considerations, the community, as well as the Board realizes the benefits."
One of the benefits will be that approximately the same number of students who are eligible to walk to the current school on Sandwich St. will be able to walk to school at the new site.
Now that property has been secured for the school, the design phase will begin. J.P. Thomsen Ltd., which has designed 4 other schools for the GECDSB, is the architect. It will take approximately a year to finalize the plan and secure a general contractor. Construction should take between 14-16 months with the tentative opening scheduled for September of 2020.