The public school board unveiled in Amherstburg Thursday night plans for a $25-million, 106,000-square-foot High School that will house more than 800 students and replace General Amherst High School and Western Secondary School.
The school will be located on 15 acres at the south end of Centennial Park, which was purchased from the Town by the board in 2018. The main entrance of the school faces Simcoe Street and the main parking lot, with 102 spaces, is located off Fryer Street at Gibb Street.
The plans show a sports field on the northwestern portion of the property, off Victoria Street, that could one day be the centerpiece of a new track. The school board has no plans to construct a track, but its approved stormwater management plan accounts for the potential that one could be funded and constructed in the future.
The technical wing of the school will house the trade and culinary programs and there is also space for the Cosmetology program so popular at Western. There is one double gymnasium along with a smaller gymnasium and dedicated spaces for music and the arts.
The design and budget for the fully accessible and air-conditioned one-storey school will be presented for approval at the school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21st.
If it is approved and then gets the greenlight from the province, it would go to tender, with construction expected to take about 16 months. Officials are optimistic the school could open during the 2022-23 school year.
Once the school has opened, it is expected that General Amherst High School and Western Secondary School would be declared surplus to the board’s needs and offered for sale.
Public entities like the Town or other school boards, colleges or universities would then have 90 days to express interest and a further 90 days to submit an offer.
If there’s no interest, the surplus properties could then be listed on the open market.