WPL Celebrates Collaboration with District School Board of Niagara

The District School Board of Niagara, the City of Welland and the Welland Public Library Board are collaborating on an initiative that will see the Welland Public Library incorporated into the new, soon-to-be-built Mathews Public School.

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 27, Welland City Council officially approved the partnership, which will see the Library Board contribute $220,000 towards the cost of the library construction.

“Members of the Library Board deserve our thanks and congratulations for developing this innovative partnership with DSBN. The combination of financial stewardship and vision they’ve shown is truly exceptional. As Mayor, I look forward to the transformation that’s about to start at the Mathews School site and the community that it serves,” stated Mayor Barry Sharpe.

“This shared facility will give our students access to a larger library and more educational resources. It will also provide residents with a refreshed facility to enjoy for years to come. It is a very positive development for the community and we are pleased to work with our partners on City Council and the Welland Public Library Board to make this a reality for students and residents,” said Warren Hoshizaki, DSBN Director of Education.

“This project is an excellent example of how partnerships with the community can enhance the learning experience for students,” Hoshizaki added.

“This is an exciting and innovative relationship, the first of its kind in the Niagara Region. The Library has been partnering with Mathews Public School over the past few years with special summer programs, and we are very excited to see a permanent location for the Public Library emerge from this partnership. The benefits for both the students and residents in the surrounding area are endless,” said Janet Booth, CEO of the Welland Public Library.

The new Mathews Public School and Welland Public Library will be built on the school’s current site on Southworth Street in Welland. Expected to open in September, 2013, the school will have capacity to serve more than 350 students from Kindergarten through Grade 8. The state of the art facility will include 15 classrooms and the latest in learning technologies and environmentally sustainable features.

DSBN Superintendent of Business Joe Weinberg expects the school and library will be sent to tender later this spring, with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in early summer.