Springfield, New Sarum public schools saved from closing

Thames Valley District School Board trustees voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday night, Nov. 26, to rescind decisions made in 2017 to close New Sarum and Springfield elementary schools.

They also voted unanimously to make the building of a new elementary school in Belmont, to replace ageing South Dorchester and Westminster Central, one of their two top priorities in seeking capital funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education this year, along with an expansion for London’s badly overcrowded Eagle Heights Public School, which has 17 portable classrooms on its site.

That puts the ball in the court of Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, to get the get the funding for the new Belmont school.

A week earlier, he’d told trustees during public hearings that if they kept Springfield and New Sarum open, and made Belmont the board’s top priority, “the onus will be on me” to secure funding for the new school.

More details on those hearings will be in the Nov. 27 edition of The Aylmer Express, and comprehensive coverage of the Nov. 26 meeting of the board will be in the Dec. 4 newspaper.