After years of pressure from local trustees, the province has given the green light for a much-needed new high school in north Oshawa.
On May 2, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced $46.4 million for a high school on Bridle Road with space for 1,387 students.
It is set to open in September 2026.
Durham District School Board Chair Carolyn Morton called the funding announcement “fantastic” news.
“I want to recognize the trustees from Oshawa for their tireless advocacy on this file, thank the Government of Ontario, and welcome this timely investment that will have a positive impact for generations to come,” she said.
The DDSB has requested funding for a new north Oshawa high school five times since 2015 and recently submitted a sixth request.
In February, DDSB trustees voted unanimously to send a letter to the Minister of Education expressing concern that the process to approve new school funding is not meeting the needs of DDSB students — and asking for clarity as to why the north Oshawa high school request was repeatedly overlooked.
A similar letter was also sent in 2020.
Maxwell Heights Secondary School is the only DDSB high school located north of Taunton Road in Oshawa.
The school has a capacity of 1,257 students and was sitting at over 1,600 during the 2020-21 school year.
Oshawa Trustee Michael Barrett has been outspoken on the issue for years and recently called the situation a “travesty.”
He said Oshawa trustees are “thrilled” that funding has been announced.
“With the continued growth within our municipality and the continued population pressure on our existing schools, the 1400 pupil places are going to be welcomed,” Barrett said. “Schools are the center of communities that provide connections, relationships and outreach. A new school serves as a hub and a beacon for our new neighborhoods and for our new residents.”
The province has announced funding for several new school projects in Durham in recent months including: $9.9 million for a new Francophone elementary school that will be built in Whitby or Ajax; $17 million for a new Catholic elementary school in the Seaton community of Pickering; and $4.2 million to build an eight-classroom addition at St. Anne Catholic School in north Oshawa.
“We are building new schools, building more affordable child care spaces, and building hope and opportunity for Ontario students as they learn in more normal and safer classrooms,” said Minister Lecce. “We believe that students deserve to learn in-person in state-of-the-art facilities that are internet connected, accessible, with modern ventilation systems, which is why our government is delivering a major investment that accelerates construction to get it done for parents, students, and communities.”