As concerned parents in the Province of Ontario, we would like to address an issue to the Ontario Ministry of Education. Approximately two years ago, we were pleased to hear from the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board that the addition of a much-needed 500-seat expansion for Saltfleet District High School had been entered in the board's capital plan. The Board has submitted to the Ministry of Education a request for Capital Priorities funding for this addition in our high growth area. As of the start of this petition, the Ministry has not yet approved funding of this expansion. The neighbourhoods surrounding Saltfleet District High School are building up rapidly and the school may require close to fifteen portables to accommodate the growing student population in the next school year. Enrolment is currently close to 1300 students for a school built for a capacity of 939. Projected estimates peg the future enrolment around 1620 students by 2013 and an increase to 1960 students by 2018. This surge of growth has led to overcrowding and a host of undesirable consequences for the school including a lack of gym space, as well as a lack of specialty classrooms and tech areas. There are some courses that cannot be taught within the limits of a portable classroom. Given the current state of the economy and a deficit budget that looms over the Province of Ontario, common sense dictates that spending needs to be directed to the right projects. An article in the Hamilton Spectator (March 24, 2009) reported that Premier Dalton McGuinty announced a $27.5 billion dollar infusion within the province for roads, schools, hospitals and public transit. He was quoted as saying,"It's a big number but, you know what It needs to be done. Inaction is not an option." We respectively request the Ontario Ministry of Education consider the funding request for this much needed project.
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