Opening of Bishop Macdonell Elementary School at CityPlace delayed

Bishop Macdonell Catholic Elementary School won’t be open for the first day of school after all due to construction delays brought on by work stoppages, a Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) trustee says.

That means parents with kids in the both the Catholic and public boards awaiting the opening of schools on the doorstep of their CityPlace condominiums will have to send their kids elsewhere when the school year starts.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) announced last month that the Jean Lumb Public School space on Brunel Court wouldn’t be ready for the first day of the school year.

The public board was previously more optimistic — but TCDSB trustee Norm Di Pasquale said for the first time Tuesday that Bishop Macdonnell won’t be open, either.

“Certainly we had made every effort, but unfortunately we recognize now that the school will not be open on time,” he said.

So when will the school actually open? “It’s a little fluid at this point,” Di Pasquale said. With any luck, we’re looking at a month, tops.”

TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird told CBC News the construction delays are due in part to a plumbers’ and sheet-metal workers’ strike from earlier this year.

Unlike the Catholic board, the TDSB isn’t providing a date on when it believes Jean Lumb will open.

“Obviously we’re trying to work as quickly as possible,” Bird said.

Colette Abbott, a CityPlace resident, says the situation is shaping up to be a bit of a logistical nightmare.

“My biggest concern has just been the lack of communication to the parents,” she said.

“It’s coming on the end of July already, and a lot of us are looking forward to September, and there’s just not a lot of clarity about what we can expect.”

The public board says in the interim, students and teachers will be housed at Nelson Mandela Park Public School, where they will exist as a separate school within the same facility.

Students from the Catholic board will have a similar arrangement at St. Mary Elementary School.

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