From soccer field to mountain
The soccer fields at the Winchester Public School are getting a complete makeover from improved drainage to enhanced sporting facilities. Morin Photo

WINCHESTER – Winchester residents are being treated to daily construction at their local public school in the centre of town, as the school undergoes renovations years in the making.

Last February, the Upper Canada District School Board, (UCDSB) announced that it had finally received Ministry of Education approval to go ahead with the Winchester Public School childcare project.

The plan is to upgrade the field beside the school as well as build a new addition which will be the home for Happy Face Nursery School. The local nursery school currently has locations in: Chesterville, Morrisburg, Nationview, North Stormont and Roxmore.

The municipality has been working with the UCDSB for several years to come up with a plan that would be beneficial to the town as well as to Happy Face Nursery.

This spring, all the plans came together with school board and municipality in agreement about how to go forward.

The original idea was announced back in November of 2015. The renovations will include a three-room childcare centre addition to the existing school building.

At the moment, the most startling site for Winchester residents is the sight of the school’s soccer field being worked over by a bulldozer from McDonald Brothers Construction.

When the school renovation is complete, the field will be home to swing sets, a basketball court, triple long jump, a soccer pitch, baseball field as well as a play area. The existing parking lot will be extended to allow for staff and on street parking from Louise Street and Clarence Street and there will be a new school bus pick up and drop off lane to improve safety for the students.

The school board will be leasing parts of Louise, Clarence and York streets.

York and part of Louise Street will be changed into one-way streets.

In addition to the child care project, Winchester Public School’s existing infrastructure will also undergo capital improvements including a gym floor replacement, updated roofing, video security installation as well as new doors, new boilers and new rooftop mechanical units, painting, exterior site signage and classroom sinks. Improved parking and landscaping are also part of the project scope.

This project represents a $5.4 million investment in the school and is part of the province’s capital investment program to support students with better learning spaces.