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Province Supporting New Student & Child Care Spaces at Baden Catholic Elementary School and Investing in Local Community Infrastructure in New Hamburg

WILMOT – The Ontario government is investing $12.1M in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for a new Baden Catholic Elementary School and providing $4.1M for the New Hamburg Arena Modernization project in Wilmot Township. These investments represent Ontario’s ongoing commitment to getting shovels in the ground on schools and community infrastructure to support the families of Kitchener-Conestoga.

“Investing in education and community infrastructure is the smart move for a region that is growing as quickly as Waterloo,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “The new childcare and classroom spaces in Baden and modernized New Hamburg Arena facility will provide families in Wilmot with more options for education, recreation, sports, arts and culture and also support the local economy and business recovery.”

The investment of $12.1 million in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for a new Baden Catholic Elementary School will support creating 294 student spaces and 88 licensed child care spaces as part of the Ford Government’s commitment to building state-of-the-art schools for Ontario youth. The new Baden Catholic Elementary School will be located at a site to be acquired in Baden.

The project is part of a provincewide investment of nearly $500 million to support new school and child care spaces recently announced by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. This funding will add almost 15,700 new student spaces and 1,502 licensed child care spaces at schools across Ontario. The overall investment will support creating 37 school-related projects, including 23 child care centres.

The investment is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to providing $14 billion to support school construction over ten years. Since 2018, the government has approved nearly 200 new projects and there are currently more than 300 child care and education building-related projects in development, with more than 100 actively under construction.

Highlights of the Baden school project include:

  • 294 elementary student spaces.
  • 88 new licensed child care spaces.
  • 5 new childcare rooms.

The Ontario government is also investing $4,181,032 in the New Hamburg Arena Reconstruction in the Township of Wilmot. This investment will modernize the existing New Hamburg Arena facility, built in 1949, to comply with current building and fire codes. The space will house a “hybrid” facility that can accommodate multi-purpose sport and recreation uses year-round and a home base for The Community Players of New Hamburg theatre.

The New Hamberg Arena project is supported through the Strategic Priorities Infrastructure Fund (SPIF) – Sport and Community Renewal (SCR) sub-stream. SPIF projects will help meet the demand for long-needed quality recreation and community infrastructure. The SCR substream will enable local economic growth and recovery by creating jobs and supporting local businesses. They will also increase opportunities for residents to participate in local sports, arts and culture, and recreation activities.


“We are building new schools, building more affordable child care spaces, and building hope and opportunity for Ontario students as they learn in more normal and safer classrooms,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We believe that students deserve to learn in person in state-of-the-art facilities that are internet-connected, accessible, with modern ventilation systems, which is why our government is delivering a major investment that accelerates construction to get it done for parents, students, and communities.”

“Under Premier Ford’s leadership, our government is delivering more schools across the province to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families and growing communities. By cutting red tape and introducing the Rapid Build pilot project to expedite procurement and construction processes to build better schools faster, we’re ensuring that students reap the benefits of state-of-the-art learning facilities sooner and have access to education in a safe and healthy environment,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “These investments are just one of the ways we’re building critical infrastructure – such as schools, hospitals, long-term care homes and public transit – that Ontarians rely on with a budget over $148 billion over the next decade.”

“Waterloo Catholic is extremely pleased with this latest announcement of funding for a new Catholic elementary school and new licensed childcare in Baden,” said Loretta Notten, Director of Education for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. “With the continued growth in our board, this is most welcome news to assist us in meeting the needs of our community.  We are pleased to see the school vision also includes childcare spaces which allows us to provide our families with the full service they require in their busy lives.  We welcome the partnership with the region to provide the childcare spaces.  We are grateful for this new school and the opportunities it will present for our families.”

“The Township is grateful to see continued investment from our senior government partners towards critical infrastructure projects in Wilmot,” noted Mayor Les Armstrong. “The revitalization of the old New Hamburg Arena into a modernized space supporting both recreation and cultural uses will be a great asset for future generations,” said Armstrong.

“Today’s funding announcement is incredible news for The Community Players of New Hamburg (TCP) and the Wilmot community,” said TCP President Aaron Fewkes. “Thanks to our volunteers past and present, loyal patrons and partners, who return to support TCP year-after-year, our organization is proud to commit at least $250,000 toward the project. One place where rehearsals, storage, creative production, and performances can occur has long been the dream of TCP and today’s news sets in motion a path forward,” said Fewkes.

Quick Facts:

  • For 2022-23, the province is also providing school boards with $1.4 billion in funding to renew and maintain existing schools.
  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are providing $5 million in funding for critical infrastructure projects to protect students and staff from COVID-19 in the province’s schools through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.