By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
The shell of Oshawa Central CI is getting a new life with a nearby neighbour preparing to move in.
Construction has been ongoing at the former high school closed by the Durham District School Board (DDSB) in 2016. Starting next year, it will become the new Village Union Public School.
Village Union, currently located at 240 Simcoe St. S., will keep the same name and the same boundaries, allowing students to make the move down the street relatively unaffected. And they will have quite a bit more space to enjoy.
The current Village Union site sits at just over four acres, with only a single acre dedicated to green play space. Moving to the former high school, sitting at 16 acres, opens up 10 acres of green play space.
“That’s a huge advantage for the students during their lunch time and recess time and physical activiy time outside,” says Christine Nancekivell, the senior manager of facilities services, accommodation and transportation with DDSB. “So that was one of the driving forces behind making this recommendation to trustees.”
Currently, work is underway to add spaces for kindergarten classes and further spaces for art and music.
The soon-to-be-former Village Union site will also be getting second life as the new home for DDSB’s Durham Alternative Secondary School (DASS) program, currently operated out of the Oshawa Centre.
Nancekivell explains the lease for that space ends in June, and with that, the board is taking the opportunity to move to the large space at Village Union.
“It’s large enough to be able to increase the programming for those students as well as bring in partners to support the students in the program,” Nancekivell says.
Students are expected to begin attending both new sites in September.