Liz Takes a First Look at the New St. Mary’s College

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Ontario Education Minister, Liz Sandals overlooks the new St. Mary's College at the foot of Pine Street at Second Line. The 52 million dollar structure will be ready for opening day.

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After almost three years of construction, including working through two of the harshest winters, the new St. Mary’s college is nearing completion.

The $43 million dollar structure with house 1,200 students combining students from St. Basil Secondary and the old St. Mary’s.  The total cost including land comes in at around $52 Million.

Today, David Orazietti, MPP welcomed back to Sault Ste. Marie Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, for a visit to Eastview Public School which is currently expanding and under construction, as well as for a visit to the newly completed St. Mary’s College.
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“Our government has invested over $233 million locally in new schools, school expansions and improvements to modernize existing schools, which has also benefitted our economy,” said Orazietti. “But more importantly, we have invested in students, teachers, and all of the educational personnel and resources needed to help ensure our youth reach their full potential.”

The new St. Mary’s College is the culmination of a $52 million investment by the Ontario government and extensive planning by the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board. It also marks the latest milestone in the Ontario government’s commitment to investing in local students with new school infrastructure and increased education funding.
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Next week, more than 1,200 local secondary students will start their academic year in the new facility, which features a state-of-the-art library and gymnasium, specialized labs and technology facilities and sports facilities that will serve both students and the broader community.

“Our government knows the importance of investing in students with new capital projects and higher education funding to support student achievement and well-being,” said Liz Sandals, Minister of Education.

Since 2003, combined local education operating funding has increased by over $32 million, while per pupil funding has increased by approximately 72 percent. Increases to local per pupil funding continues to be above the provincial average of 59 percent.
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In fact, increased provincial funding and new provincial programs at both the ADSB and the HSCDSB, since 2003, is protecting a combined 125 teaching positions and 82 educational support staff positions despite a combined decrease in enrollment of nearly 30 percent or approximately 5,500 students during the same period.
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Since 2003, the provincial government has invested over $233 million in infrastructure projects in our local school boards. Some of the new school infrastructure projects include:

· $52 million for the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board to construct St. Mary’s College
· $47 million for the Algoma District School Board to construct Superior Heights Secondary School
· $15.5 million for the Algoma District School Board to construct a new Francis H. Clergue Elementary School
· $14.6 million for the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board to construct Holy Cross Elementary School
· $10.4 million for the Conseil Scolaire Catholique du Nouvel Ontario to expand Ecole Notre-Dame-du-Sault
· $5.2 million for the Algoma District School Board to expand Central Algoma Secondary School
· $3.9 million for the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board conversion of St. Basil’s Secondary School
· $1.5 million for the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board to expand St. Francis Elementary School
· $630,000 for the Algoma District School Board to expand Eastview Elementary School
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Giving local students the best possible learning experience is part of the government’s plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

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QUICK FACTS

· Over the next 10 years, the province plans to provide school boards with more than $11 billion to help build new schools in areas of high growth, improve the condition of existing schools, and invest in projects to reduce surplus space through school consolidations.

· Since 2003, overall funding for education has increased by $8.1 billion, or 56%, to $22.5 billion.

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