Welcome to Forest sign (Photo via Google Maps)Welcome to Forest sign (Photo via Google Maps)

Site selected for Forest super school

After four years in the making, a site has been chosen for a new JK-12 super school in Forest.

On Monday, the province announced a nearly $4.7 million investment to purchase land on a site west of The Shores Recreation Centre.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton said it will consolidate students from Aberarder Central, Bosanquet Central, Kinnwood Central, and North Lambton Secondary schools.

"The good news about this brand new school is it's going to be the most modern school in the province," said McNaughton. "It's going to have an updated filtration system, it's going to have ample space for shop class and music class. It'll have 1,024 spaces for students to learn, including two EarlyON rooms."

The Lambton-Kent District School Board (LKDSB) approved construction of the new school in March of 2017, pending site selection. It was originally hoped to be completed by 2020.

In January 2018, the province committed to providing $27.4 million toward the new facility.

McNaughton said investing in rural Ontario is important.

"Under the former government, about 700 schools were closed across rural and northern communities," he said. "This is a signal yet again that rural Ontario is on the comeback and this is really important in Forest and for all of Lambton Shores. This facility is long overdue."

Plans for the former schools, once consolidated, have not yet been released.

The LKDSB has started the design process with an information gathering session involving school board staff. The project architect was part of this initial design planning session.

The board looks forward to engaging with community stakeholders in order to gather input on the school design. The LKDSB is tentatively planning for a September 2025 opening of the new school.

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