Update - June 19, 2019
The GECDSB Board of Trustees has approved the design and budget for the new school on Mercer Street. The work on the first stage of the reconstruction and construction of the building is already underway.
Architect Colin McDonald of J.P. Thompson Architects presented a detailed outline of the project to Trustees. The design has focused on the efficient use of the site and building square footage while incorporating the existing heritage building. The environment will be bright and lively and stimulate students' learning experience.
The next step in the process will be to receive approval from the Ontario Ministry of Education. It's expected a general contractor will be named and primary work will commence by October, 2019.
Update - June, 2019
The scene may appear to be slightly rugged right now, but the construction of the new school on Mercer Street is progressing smoothly. The initial phase involves the deconstruction and the reconstruction of the existing heritage building, the former International Playing Card Factory. The façade and the interior of the structure are being stripped and rebuilt. All salvaged original exterior bricks will be re-used,
in keeping with the requirements of the heritage designation.
The work is being done by the Fortis Group.
The second phase should begin in the late fall, with the addition of the new classroom and gym wing behind the existing building and the full development of the property. The final design, being performed by J.P. Thompson Architects may be presented for approval to the GECDSB Board of Trustees and the Ministry of Education later this month.
See more pictures of the current construction in the gallery at the bottom of the page.
Update - February, 2019
Preliminary work to prepare the site for the construction of the new French Immersion school on Mercer Street will begin soon. The permit has been issued for the work and the contractor will start within the next 4 weeks.
Fortis Construction has been awarded the contract to perform environmental clean up, structural upgrade of the existing building as well as the deconstruction and reconstruction of the exterior of the existing building.
The former International Playing Card factory, a designated heritage building, will be preserved and included in the overall design of the new school. The new school construction should begin in November, 2019 with an opening anticipated for the winter of 2020/21.
In November, 2015 the Greater Essex County District School Board received a grant from the Ministry of Education of $15.23 million to build a permanent home for the Giles Campus French Immersion Public School.
Giles Campus F.I.P.S. was created in 2011 at the former W.D. Lowe High School building to accommodate French Immersion students in the Northwest area of Windsor. This was a temporary solution to demand for French Immersion programming in the city until a business case was approved to build a new school within the catchment area.
In January 2017 the GECDSB purchased a piece of property at 1123 Mercer St. and is working on a plan to build the new school to include the historic International Playing Card Co. building.
The Heritage Alteration Permit was approved by the City of Windsor in December 2017. Site plan control review is ongoing with the city's Planning Department.