New Midland high school won’t be ready for September

The new Georgian Bay District Secondary School will not meet its September opening.

“At this point, the target is not to move into in the fall,” said Sarah Kekewich, manager of communications for the Simcoe County District School Board.

Students will be returning to the old high school in September.

Kim Pickett, manager of design and construction for the board, said a move-in date hasn’t been finalized.

“Once it’s ready, we will make an announcement and have a move-in process. We will try to do that at a school break if it’s ahead of the end of the school year,” she said.

The move will be done all at once, rather than staggered to finished parts of the building.

“We find it less confusing that way,” said Pickett.

The new high school is being built at on what was the athletic field of the old Midland Secondary School.

The Midland school was renamed in September 2016 when students from Midland and Penetanguishene secondary schools were merged and Penetanguishene Secondary School was closed. The name Georgian Bay will stand when the new school opens.

The school will be 12,873 square metres (138,564 square feet) and will accommodate 984 students. The GBDSS website listed the population of the existing school to be 807.

The groundbreaking for the new school was held in early June, 2016 and construction started that September. It was scheduled to open September 2018.

The election of Premier Doug Ford will not affect the construction, said Pickett.

“We were fully approved and funded before we put a shovel in the ground,” she said.

Similar to other new secondary school builds, the new high school will have specialized areas for hospitality and cosmetology and have a double gym.

“It’s going to be more modern than what was there before. The design is making efficient use of space,” Pickett said.

The consulting team includes Allen and Sherriff Architects Inc., DEI & Associates Inc., Stephenson Engineering Ltd. and WMI & Associates Ltd.

Once the school is open, the old building will be demolished, said Pickett.