Facility Partnerships

Annual facility partnerships consideration

The Ministry of Education’s Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline requires boards to post, on an annual basis, information regarding its intention to build new schools, to undertake significant renovations and information regarding unused space in open and operating schools and administrative buildings available for facility partnerships.

The next meeting will be held in May/June of 2018.

Sharing unused space in existing schools

The Board has reviewed underutilized open and operating schools and administrative facilities for suitability for partnership based on the criteria outlined in the Board’s administrative procedure related to facility partnership suitability.

Co-building

The Board is working to develop the following construction projects and eligible community partners are encouraged to contact staff regarding the potential for partnerships on these projects.  It should be noted that although these projects may be supported by Board resolution, most await Ministry approval and funding.

Current (funded and approved) co-building opportunities for new school construction include:

  • Southeast Cambridge (Greengate) Elementary – Funding received November 21, 2016 – opening date yet to be determined.
  • Huron South (Tartan Ave.) Elementary, Kitchener – Funding received January 2018 – opening date approximately September 2020.

Current (unfunded / planned) co-building opportunities for new school/rebuild construction projects include:

  • Southwest Kitchener Secondary
  • North Cambridge (Hunt Club) Elementary
  • Breslau-Hopewell Creek (Thomasfield) Elementary, Woolwich Township
  • Doon South II (Ormston) Elementary, Kitchener

Current co-building opportunities for schools (unfunded and planned) for significant additions or renovation include:

  • John Mahood Public School, Woolwich Township
  • Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School, Wilmot Township
  • Parkway Public School, Cambridge

Community partners will be required to pay for and finance their share of construction and operating costs, including a proportional share of joint-use or shared space.

The Board encourages our community partners to provide notification to the Board of proposals or plans to build your own new facilities.

What is a facility partnership?

It is a cooperative and collaborative relationship between school boards and community organizations for the use of buildings and sites, which include various levels of government, the public and community agencies as defined within Administrative Procedure 4990 – Community Planning and Facility Partnerships. It is intended to provide an opportunity to reduce facility costs and/or improve educational opportunities for students. Offering space in schools to partners can strengthen the role of schools in communities, provide a place for programs and facilitate the coordination of and improve access to, services for students and the wider community.

Entities that provide competing education services, such as tutoring services, Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 private schools or private colleges, credit-offering entities that are not government-funded, and political organizations are not eligible partners.

How does your organization become a partner?

Organizations and agencies interested in partnering with the Board will be subject to an application process before being approved and added to the notification list. Potential community partners will be required to complete a community partner interest application form (under development) to the Board. This application will contain an outline of the proposed partnership opportunity and answer the following questions:

  • What is your organization’s background?
  • In what ways are you interested in partnering with the WRDSB? (e.g., co-building, renting/purchasing unused space, etc.)
  • Is there a specific location that interests you? If so, which site, neighbourhood or municipality are you interested in?
  • Do you have a timeframe? (e.g., immediately or next 2-5 years)
  • What are your approximate space requirements (square footage)?
  • In what ways (if any) could a partnership with your organization benefit the WRDSB?

Where available space has been identified for partnership or co-building opportunities, the Board will use the Community Partner Selection Criteria to evaluate the suitability of partners and their proposals as they relate to specific sites.

Community partner selection criteria

The partnership must:

  • Ensure the health and safety of students and staff; 
  • Be appropriate for the school/Board setting; 
  • Not compromise the student achievement strategy, and partnerships that support student achievement will be given priority;
  • Not interfere with school/Board operations and activities; and
  • Exist on a cost-recovery basis to the Board

The community partner must:

  • Provide financial statements showing financial viability;
  • Be willing to enter into a lease, license, or joint-use/partnership agreement that requires the operator to pay a pro-rated share of utility, custodial and maintenance costs;
  • Have independent liability insurance;
  • Pay for and finance costs to perform minor renovations to protect student safety, provide appropriate washrooms, and otherwise make the space suitable for use;
  • Pay for and finance their share of construction in a co-building partnership, including a proportional share of joint-use or shared space;
  • Agree to operate in accordance with Board policies; and
  • Agree that staff working within a school complete a criminal background check.

Who do I contact for more information on facility partnerships?

For more information about facility partnerships, please contact the Planning Department at 519-570-0003 ext. 4419 or by email