It's welcome news for parents like Jeff Seeton.

Seeton's children go to St. Gabriel in Kanata, a school that is overcrowded and has multiple portables to accomodate the overflow of students.

"I think they're at about 160 per cent of capacity and they're talking about maybe having another 3 portables in the next few years," he says. 

Anna Da Ros is a grade four student at St. Gabriel, who's class is in one of the portables.

"I want to be inside the school...because you can get to the gym and washrooms faster," she says.

The Ontario government is hoping to help with some of that overcrowding. 

Minister of Education Liz Sandals announced today that $498 million towards 30 new school and 26 school additions and renovations across the province.

In eastern Ontario, there are four new schools planned:

  • Leitrim ES in Leitrim
  • Marchwood Lakeside ES in Kanata
  • EEC Arnprior/Renfrew in Arnprior
  • EEP/ESP Kemptville in North Grenville.

Leitrim will accomodate close to 700 students and be built in Findlay Creek. It will replace Queen Elizabeth Park, which is closing because the government wants the land back that the school is built on.

There are also additions planned:

  • ESP Louis-Riel and Holy Family Separate School in Ottawa
  • EEP Carrefour Jeunesse in Rockland
  • St. Francis-Xavier in Gloucester
  • West Carleton SS in Dunrobin.  

St. Francis-Xavier is getting a permanent addition to accomodate over 430 students. It will eliminate the 26 portables the school currently uses.

"This is great news," says Denise Andre, the Director of Education for the Ottawa Catholic School Board. "These are growing communities where we can serve our students with beautiful buildings...we're very excited about it."

Andre says the addition at St. Francis-Xavier is expected to be complete for September 2017, while the new school in Kanata won't be done until 2018.

The province in also investing in 122 new child care rooms, which will lead to 2,135 new licensed spaces for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

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