The dust is flying in a field in south Barrie as bulldozers clear grass and brush in advance of the concrete and steel that will be brought in to build a long-awaited and much-needed high school.
“Absolutely, we’re very excited,” said Kim Pickett, Manager of Design and Construction for the Simcoe County District School Board, “
The seeds of this school were sewn in 2011 with funding approved in 2013.
But bickering between the City of Barrie and the school board over the site plan delayed final approval by city council. The city insisted its planning guidelines be followed in terms of building placement on the site. The school board adamant its design was a better option.
With the build several years behind schedule and existing high schools overflowing, city council blinked first and gave approval to the board’s plan in June 2016.
The school will feature two athletic fields – one with natural turf, the other with artificial turf. There will also be an eight-lane all-weather track. “We currently don’t have this at any of our other high schools,” noted Pickett.
Pickett said construction timelines are difficult to predict given weather-related and other considerations, but is hopeful the school – with room for 1,w005 students – can be ready in 2021.