According to the province all schools must be fully accessible by 2025. That means many schools in the Near North District School Board will need to undergo upgrades and renovations before that time. Director of Education Geoff Botting details that every upgrade will cost over a million dollars. He says when you take into account the number of schools in the district then the costs become insurmountable. And that’s on top of what it would cost to make repairs to all of the boards schools — which is estimated at $145-million. Botting says the enrolment numbers are not at desirable levels and they will only decrease as time goes on. Botting says they are already behind when it comes to retrofitting the schools. He says they need a sustainable future and need to start doing something about it now. He says one way to adjust for that problem is to close or amalgamate schools. Although he admits it will not be a popular choice there are many benefits for the students. He says that’s especially true when 7 and 8 students are combined with high schools. He says that gives students access to much better facilities.
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