Ward 5 has six elementary schools - three in the North and three in the South. It is also the location of the former Robert Bateman High School.
The Bateman site is about to undergo a transformation. Gary Allen High School (currently located at the former General Brock High School between Walkers Line and Guelph Line on the south side of New Street) will be moving to the Bateman site in 2023/2024. Brock University will also be moving their Teacher's College there. In addition, the City of Burlington is relocating the local library branch as well. It's an exciting time and I'm very pleased to see the Bateman site continue to provide educational opportunities in southeast Burlington.
In the North of Ward 5 are Alexander's, John William Boich and Orchard Park. Each of these schools offers English and French Immersion programming and hosts students from JK to Grade 8.
Families living in North Ward 5 are concerned with the City of Burlington's plans for the construction of new condominiums at 1989 Appleby Line. I have been keeping abreast of the situation and participated in an online public meeting where concerns about gridlock, parking, lack of green space were all raised. I consulted with our Planning Department and was advised they don't expect a large number of students to reside in these new buildings, so there will be a minimal impact on schools. However, as a member of the community, I am concerned about the plans and am keeping this development on my radar.
The schools in the South of Ward 5 include Frontenac, Mohawk Gardens and Pineland. Frontenac is a JK to Grade 8 school offering English programming. Mohawk Gardens serves students from JK to Grade 6 and also offers English programming. Pineland is a Grade 2 to Grade 8 school offering French Immersion programming.
Each of these schools is over 50 years old. I have advocated for renovations to modernize and refresh them throughout my 12 years as your Trustee. Ensuring our older schools have the same bells and whistles as our newer schools is important to me. I will continue to seek ways to improve and upgrade them!
In the last 12 years many renovations have been completed in South Ward 5 schools. A brief summary of the major renovations completed in the last few years is below.
Air conditioning is currently being installed at Pineland. The journey to getting AC at Pineland has been a long one. Initially, the HDSB was unable to install AC because there was insufficient hydro capacity in the area. After several years of working with Burlington Hydro, the capacity was upgraded just as the pandemic hit. I am very grateful to our Facilities Department for prioritizing the air conditioning at Pineland to be installed this year. I am sure all our staff and students will be celebrating the comfortable temperatures in their classrooms as the new school year unfolds.
Frontenac has also recently completed significant renovations, including the construction of a YMCA daycare facility. I had the opportunity to tour Frontenac this summer and was amazed by the transformation. Pulling into the new parking lot was a pleasure; it is so much more efficient in its design! I know families will be so pleased with the beautiful and functional changes to their children's school.
Mohawk Gardens received many renovations in the last couple of years as well, including a new roof, side walks, and many improvements to the interior including the gym and library. The families at Mohawk Gardens are very engaged in their community and have been very supportive of the work that's been done to enhance their school.