New C.R. Gummow school to be built
A consolidated building, to replace what is known as the east and west campuses of C.R. Gummow Public School, will be built by January 2015.
The announcement came from the Ministry of Education last week. The province will provide about $13 million in capital funding for the 678-pupil facility.
The original C.R. Gummow building was the first of several Cobourg schools built in response to a post-Second World War surge in population. At one point, it was necessary to hold kindergarten classes in the Sunday School hall at the Anglican church.
The 287 Gravely St. site was purchased in 1951, construction began in 1952, and the new school opened in September 1953.
It was named after Charles R. Gummow as a tribute to the man who was a teacher for 35 years and principal of Cobourg Public Schools for 24 years. He had only recently retired in 1946, and was held in high esteem throughout the community.
His successor, Grant Sine (who also has a school that bears his name), spoke at the opening ceremonies Nov. 9, 1953.
The Gummow school's proximity to what was then Cobourg and District General Hospital meant that, for a time, part of its grounds were set aside as a heliport for that facility.
The 1953 building became the school's west campus, when an east campus was acquired in the 1990s: the building (and portables) at 311 Cottesmore Ave.
That building was originally meant to be the school for residents of Brookside Youth Centre. When that facility was fenced on the east side of Cottesmore and educational functions moved within the fence, the building and portables were left vacant.
They were put to good use for a few months, when space for students of Merwin Greer Elementary School was required, following a 1991 fire at that King Street East school. Not long after Merwin Greer students were able to return to their own school, Gummow acquired the property.
The new school, intended for the current Gummow students, will be built on the existing school site but not necessarily where any current building is situated.
“We’re very excited to move forward in our efforts to create a new, modern, first-class learning environment for the students of C.R. Gummow Public school in Cobourg,” Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board chair Diane Lloyd said.
“We are very appreciative of the government’s ongoing commitment to education within KPR and across this province.”
“Ontario’s public education system is among the very best in the world,” director of education W.R. (Rusty) Hick added.
“We are thankful that, through critical capital investments like this one, the government continues to ensure that our first-class students are housed in first-class facilities.”
The project will now proceed to the design phase, with construction expected to begin later in 2013.