Since 2003, the province has invested over $14 billion in school infrastructure, including nearly 760 new schools and more than 735 additions and renovations.
The province is currently in the midst of providing school boards with more than $12 billion over 10 years to help build new schools in areas of high growth, improve the condition of existing schools and invest in projects to reduce surplus space through school consolidations.
Since the Capital Priorities funding program began in 2011, the ministry has provided over $2.4 billion in funding to support 166 new school facilities and 156 additions and renovations at existing schools. These priority capital projects were needed to address enrolment growth, to support full-day kindergarten, to replace schools in poor condition and to support school consolidations.
Included in this amount is $498 million in funding provided to school boards in November 2015. A complete list of the 30 new schools and 26 additions/retrofits funded by this investment can be found here: New Schools and Additions.
In June 2016, the ministry announced $1.1 billion in funding over two years to address school repairs and renewal projects. This investment will result in critical improvements to key building components that ensure student safety and improve energy efficiency, like roofing, HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. It will also significantly improve more visible elements of schools that impact students' well-being and public confidence, including flooring, walls, ceilings, playing fields and more. This funding is also in addition to an existing investment of $1.6 billion over the next two years to ensure Ontario’s schools are in a good state of repair.
Ontario is creating approximately 4,000 new child care spaces for Ontario families as a result of a significant new investment announced in the 2015 Ontario Budget.
Over three years, $120 million in new funding will be dedicated to building safe, high quality, licensed child care spaces in schools across the province where there is significant demand. Already, the province has allocated more than $90 million to add about 3,200 new licensed child care spaces to schools in Ontario.
This investment is another step towards a modernized child care and early years system that will enhance programs and supports for children in Ontario under age 12.
In the 2014 Ontario Budget, the province made a commitment to invest $750 million over four years to support school capital projects that reduce excess space.
To date, the ministry has announced approximately $490 million in allocations to support more than 70 consolidation projects that reduce excess space.
Ontario is investing nearly $90 million dollars to support community hubs. The funding will expand child care and child and family support services in local schools and improve community access to school space.
In addition to these investments, regulatory changes will take effect on September 1, 2016. The changes will encourage the creation of community hubs in schools by expanding the list of public organizations that are given an opportunity to purchase or lease surplus school property before it is placed on the open market. Those organizations will also be given more time to place an offer, allowing greater opportunity to consider continued community use.
The government has provided about $1.5 billion in capital funding since 2010 to support the full-day kindergarten (FDK) program. This funding is used by school boards to create the extra classrooms required to accommodate the program and to support the first-time equipping needs of new FDK classrooms. This funding supports the creation of close to 3,500 new kindergarten classrooms, in 3,675 schools, through additions and major retrofits.