Replacing BRDHS Still A Go Despite Census Figures

Despite continued population growth in Lakeshore, the Greater Essex County District School Board is still moving ahead with plans to "right size" Belle River District High School.

Trustee Connie Buckler says the board has submitted its business case to the Ministry of Education.

She says the capacity is just under 1,200 students but only 800 are currently attending.

Buckler says on previous occasions the board built bigger than need. "First off you can't tell the ministry what the projected growth is. They want to know how many kids are in the building now because potential growth is never a sure thing and you don't know the age of the population moving in."

"Building a smaller school for the community makes sense," says Buckler. "You kind of get an idea and you build with the plans in mind which is what we're doing here. We're right sizing it, we're getting a newer building, hopefully if the business case goes through and the plans are there and we know the growth is potential."

The latest Statistics Canada census figures show Lakeshore's population jumped six-percent from 2011 to 2016, the highest percentage increase in Essex County.

Last month, the board stated its intentions to tear down the current high school on South St. and build a smaller, modern high school in Belle River.