OTTAWA -- After years of calling for a new high school in their neighbourhood, parents in Riverside South are getting their wish.

The province is earmarking $42 million to build a high school in the fast-growing area in south Ottawa, CTV News has learned.

There is no public high school in the area, with students there forced to commute to either Merivale or South Carleton high schools, or to switch to the Catholic board’s St. Francis Xavier high school.

The new Riverside South High School will be built at Spratt and Earl Armstrong roads, with space for more than 1,500 students and nearly 40 licenced child care spaces. A construction date hasn't been set yet.

The funding for the school is part of a $550-million announcement Education Minister Stephen Lecce made on Tuesday, which he said will build 20 new schools and create 16,000 new student learning spaces.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has said building a public high school in Riverside South is among its top priorities.

The new school will have space for more than 1,500 students and nearly 40 licensed child care spaces.

The MPP for the area, Goldie Ghamari, submitted a petition with more than 2,500 signatures to the Queen’s Park legislature last year calling for a new public high school.

She said Lecce called her on Sunday night to let her know the school was approved.

“I’m still in disbelief,” she said. “I’m still in shock. I know how important this is to the community.”

Riverside South is one of the city’s fastest-growing areas. There are 10,000 homes there, and that number is expected to double within 10 years.

The neighbourhood’s elementary schools are already dealing with overcrowding problems.

The province is also planning to build a new Catholic elementary school in Stittsville. Fernbank Catholic Elementary School at Iber and Hazeldean roads will have space for more than 500 students.

Earlier this year, the province announced plans for two new elementary schools in Stittsville and another in Barrhaven.