Ontario provides additional investment for Belleville elementary school addition

BAY OF QUINTE – As part of the Province’s ongoing efforts to build and improve local schools, the Ontario government has provided the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board with a revised approval including additional funding for the ongoing construction of an addition and renovation at Belleville’s St. Joseph Catholic School. This project is supported by a revised investment of $22.6 million, which includes additional funding of $2.9 million.

Once completed, this project at 405 Bridge St. E will deliver 334 additional elementary spaces and 49 licensed childcare spaces for local families. The investment is part of Ontario’s commitment to providing about $15 billion to support school construction, repair, and renewal over 10 years. Since 2018, the government has approved or supported the development of nearly 300 school-related projects including childcare, of which more than 100 are actively under construction.

“The revised funding for an addition and renovation at St. Joseph Catholic School in Belleville’s east end is
great news,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “This investment will ensure families and students in
this growing community have access to a quality learning environment in the years ahead.”

Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board administrators are enthusiastic about the ongoing progress at the site and the additional funding supporting it.

“We are thrilled to receive additional funding from the Ministry of Education,” said David DeSantis, Director of Education. “This funding will assist with the addition to St. Joseph Catholic School and will support our goals to provide excellence in Catholic education and ensure every member of our community is loved, inspired and successful.”

Added Jill Gardiner, Principal of St. Joseph Catholic School: “As we see the school build coming together, our students and staff get more excited about the new possibilities for learning at St. Joseph Catholic School. This addition will provide so many new learning opportunities for our students and will support their growth in our Catholic learning community.”

Michele McGrath, Superintendent of Education, highlighted the sense of collaboration on the project.

“We are blessed to have such strong partnerships with local and provincial governments, as well as outstanding supports from our families and the larger community in Belleville,” said McGrath.

Additionally, Ontario is taking action to ensure that school board capital assets are used effectively and
efficiently to meet the needs of growing communities, support student learning and ensure value for
taxpayer dollars. The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 empowers decision-makers to build
modern schools faster by better utilizing school capacity, reducing barriers for school boards to facilitate
agreements for schools in multi-use buildings such as condo towers, and shortening planning time through design standardization when constructing, renovating, or making additions to schools.

“We are determined to build schools and expansions faster, part of our commitment to modernize schools in fast growing communities,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We are proud to deliver this critical expansion at St. Joseph Catholic School for Belleville families, along with increasing funding, staffing and a back-to-basics focus on reading, writing and math skills to help ensure students graduate with confidence that they can succeed in good-paying careers.”

Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, added: “Under Premier Ford’s leadership, we’re building more stateof-the-art schools to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families, and growing communities. By
investing in innovative and modern learning spaces, we’re ensuring students have access to the quality
education that will provide them with lifelong skills and education in a safe and healthy environment.

These investments are one of the ways we’re delivering on our promise to build Ontario with an infrastructure budget of more than $148 billion over the next decade.”


• Since 2018, Ontario has invested over $2.2 billion in education capital projects with 100 new schools,
88 additions or renovations to existing schools, and nearly 6,500 new licensed childcare spaces.
• For the 2023-2024 school year, the province is providing school boards with approximately $1.4
billion in funding to revitalize and renew aged building systems and components.
• In June, Ontario passed the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 that will ensure the
public education system focuses on teaching important life-long skills such as reading, writing and
math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; maximizing capital assets
of boards to support building modern schools faster and better utilizing current school capacity.
• In March 2022, Ontario secured a six-year, $13.2-billion deal with the federal government that will
lower fees for families to an average of $10 a day. Ontario aims to reach that by September 2025.