The English Montreal School Board has approved two plans to deal with overcrowding at elementary schools in western Montreal.

The EMSB had asked three schools to examine the possibility of opening an annex at the former St. Ignatius of Loyola school at the corner of Somerled Ave. and Coronation Ave.

Willingdon Elementary was the only school that liked the proposal, and so the EMSB voted Wednesday in favour of its plan to open a senior campus.

Students in grade five and six will start at that building in the new school year, and will be bussed to and from the original building on Terrebonne Ave. at Draper Ave. for before-school and after-school programs.

Members of the Governing Board have said repeatedly that expansion is the only way to ensure the school, which is operating at about 90 percent capacity, does not lose additional programs.

Willingdon's Board will discuss the decision on Feb. 26, and then hold a general assembly for parents in March.

The move was unanimously supported by teachers, and had the support of most parents at the school.


Edinburgh gets modular classrooms.

Edinburgh elementary had been offered the opportunity to use the St. Ignatius building but refused the idea.

Instead the school's governing board proposed installing five modular classrooms to deal with overcrowding, and hoped to eventually construct a permanent wing to its existing building.

The EMSB approved part of that idea and greenlit the rental of four modular classrooms.

The chair of the governing board, Michael Rodger, was pleased with that solution.

"It's going to be instant relief in the sense that we're going to have the specialty classrooms that we've been missing for many years," said Rodger.

"Not having music on a stage while gym class is happening is a first one. Having our science teacher being able to go into a science room and be able to do science experiments in a dedicated science room is going to completely turn around how students will see science."

It will cost about $600,000 to rent and install the modular classrooms.

However the modular classrooms will not be permanent: the board said it will reduce the number of incoming kindergarten students starting in 2020 so that the school will eventually operate at its regular capacity.