CARLYLE - The announcement of a new school for Carlyle on March 22 drew lots of reaction from local elected officials.
Carlyle Mayor Jennifer Sedor has been on town council since 2012 and the town’s mayor since 2020. She was extremely pleased with the government’s decision.
“It was an amazing experience to be in the room when the Carlyle school project was announced,” she said. “We were fortunate enough to have the majority of council present for the announcement.
“There is a definite buzz of excitement around town, but also some skeptics out there. The announced funding is just for the planning phase of the build and that has some wondering if this project will be put back on the shelf. We have been assured that this will not be the case and construction is set to commence after the next budget is presented in March of 2024.”
The town has been planning for a new school for some time.
“Town council has talked about a possible school build for many years. The present council has been actively preparing for this build over the last year and a half, with exploration into development of, not only the new school, but a larger community complex, with much of the preliminary concept researched by Councillor Jared Riddell.
“While no definitive design or budget has been approved for the project, residents can find more information on the concept at the Carlyle Community Complex Foundation website.
“Over the next year, council will work closely with the SECPSD [South East Cornerstone Public School Division] and Ministry of Education to develop a solid plan and budget for the community complex project. Communication and input from residents will be an important aspect going forward.”
Presently, exact building time frames are not known.
“We hope to see the community complex project completed in three to five years,” said Sedor. “This project will boost the Town of Carlyle as an economic driver in the region and provide a solid foundation for a higher quality of life for all residents.”
The project has been at or near the top of the division’s priority list for a number of years. Earlier this year, Cornerstone announced that it was applying to the Ministry of Education for two major capital projects, including the new Carlyle school.
The announcement brought positive reaction from several circles.
“Carlyle and surrounding area will benefit from this announcement for years to come. Residents will see the new school constructed on a new green space at the south end of town. SECPSD [South East Cornerstone Public School Division], in anticipation of a new school, secured this property several years ago,” said Cannington MLA Daryl Harrison.
The school and a potential community complex will be south of the railroad on the west side of Main Street.
“I am sure the students and staff will enjoy their new space. Congratulations.”
South East Cornerstone director of education Keith Keating also applauded the decision.
“We are grateful that Carlyle was announced … to start the planning process for a new school that will incorporate Gordon F. Kells and Carlyle Elementary into a new prek-12 school,” said Keating. “SECPSD looks forward to working with the school, school community councils and community as we work to provide the best opportunities possible for students in Carlyle.”
Jim Vermeersch is the Cornerstone board vice-chairman and a trustee for SECPSD, representing sub-division 2, which includes the communities of Arcola, Carlyle, Manor, Maryfield and Wawota.
“I am excited about the new capital funding for a design phase that was announced in the budget for Carlyle. This is very positive for the community. I am cautiously optimistic that this will result in the building of a new school fairly quickly,” he said.