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'Something great for Brantford': China eyes school space
What was once known as Brantford’s Victoria School, will now become Victoria Academy.
The Ministry of Education in Henan, China, had been looking to start a school in Canada.
They found the old Victoria School, a 117-year-old building on Richmond Street, and purchased it for $600,000 from the Grand Erie District School Board.
The school had been vacant since 2011.
The plan is to turn it into a private high school, bringing students to Brantford for a Canadian education according to Norman Zhang, principal for Victoria Academy.
“It’s exciting for us and the fact that it’s international, that we have this connection now with China and Chinese culture, is going to be something great for Brantford,” said Brantford Mayor Chris Friel.
“It will make the area look nicer as well and it's really good for the multicultural aspect, and being more diverse” said Emily Runstedler, who lives in an area close to the old building.
Other locations including Markham, Richmond Hill and Toronto were considered said Zhang, but the school wanted an area with a smaller Chinese community.
“The reason we choose Brantford is because the Chinese students and family would like to send the kids –come to Canada with a pure Canadian environment,” said Zhang.
Zhang said once the school becomes better known in the community, it hopes to enroll local students as well.
“Communities need to be able to move into more of a global mentality so that you can compete and attract businesses and other areas of investment like this,” said Friel.