Ontario Government Builds and Upgrades Schools in Waterloo

Published on October 23, 2020

Province supporting students with better and modern learning spaces
October 23, 2020


The Ontario government is investing $550 million in accelerated funding to build 20 new schools and make upgrades to 8 existing facilities.

As part of its plan for a safe return to school, the Ontario government is supporting Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board with approvals for additions to Laurelwood Public School and St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School in Waterloo. Total investment in the region is almost $10 million. These additions are part of the province’s 2020-2021 Capital Priorities Program and will create 351 new student spaces in better, modern learning classrooms.

“These are not just investments in bricks and mortar, our government is investing in the future of our children by creating a better learning environment,” said Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler and Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “By building and upgrading these schools we are providing students with access to modern classroom settings and the latest technology which will lead to new opportunities and lifelong success.”

These upgrades are in addition to the previously announced approvals for four new schools in Waterloo Region that will add 2,995 student spaces and 8 childcare rooms in our fastest growing communities; Southeast Galt Public School, East Kitchener 7-12, South Kitchener Elementary School, and Huron Brigadoon Catholic Elementary.

“We are thrilled that the very real needs of this growing school have been recognized. We are extremely confident that it will be well received by the staff, students and families of St Agnes. The community will now have the necessary space in which to expand, grow and provide the quality, inclusive, faith-based education that characterizes this wonderful school. We are grateful to the provincial government for supporting our business case and this worthy school community with this addition,” said Loretta Notten, Director of Education for Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

“I am pleased with this government and the Ministry of Education's continued investment in school capital projects. Creating welcoming, safe spaces for learning is critical for the achievement and well-being of our students. I want to thank both the Province of Ontario and the Ministry for the funds to build a new eight-classroom addition at Laurelwood Public School. The current and future students at the school will benefit for years to come,” said Jayne Herring, Chairperson for Waterloo Region District School Board.

It is critical that Ontario continues to invest in safe and modern schools that meet the needs of students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontario government is also generating nearly 900 new licensed child care spaces across the province.

“This government firmly believes that your children deserve to learn in state of the art, modern, technologically connected and accessible schools,” said Minister Lecce. “We will continue to take action to ensure students are safe today and well into the future by approving more new school buildings and permanent additions and increasing access to child care for working parents.”

Highlights of the additions include:

  • 184 new elementary student spaces at Laurelwood Public School, 460 Brentcliffe
    Drive, Waterloo
  • 167 new elementary student spaces at St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School, 254
    Neilson Ave., Waterloo

Additional Quotes

“This funding announcement is very welcome news for the WRDSB and the students and families in the Laurelwood community. The addition of eight new classrooms will allow us to remove the existing portapack and a number of portables from school property. I would like to thank the Ministry of Education for their continued investment in Waterloo Region's Public Schools.”
-John Bryant, Director of Education for Waterloo Regional District School Board.

“We are grateful for this investment from the Ontario government in two of our growing neighbourhoods in Waterloo. Having been to both St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School and Laurelwood Public School, I have seen the need for these additions firsthand.”
-Dave Jaworsky, Mayor of Waterloo


Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Government is working with school board partners to invest in capital
    projects that advance safe and accessible learning opportunities for students.
  • To create new opportunities for Ontario’s families, the government is investing up to
    $1 billion to create up to 30,000 new child care spaces in schools over five years.
  • The Ontario Government announced in Budget 2019 that over the next ten years,
    Ontario is investing over $12 billion in capital grants, including allocating $550M in
    2020-2021 for new schools, additions and major renovations.
  • This massive investment will build new schools and help existing schools after a
    decade of closures and maintenance backlog.
  • Ontario is also providing school boards with a historic $1.4 billion in funding to renew
    and maintain existing schools.
  • This funding could be used to replace aging heating or air conditioning systems,
    repair roofs and windows, and install important accessibility features like elevators
    and ramps.