Today marked the official grand opening of the $52 million St. Mary’s College, a new state-of-the-art secondary school that opened in September with an enrollment of 1,200 students.
“Our government is committed to ensuring students are equipped with the resources necessary to reach their full potential,” said Orazietti. “Today’s official opening of St. Mary’s College further demonstrates our commitment to providing physical infrastructure that offers our students a modern learning environment where they can succeed.”
The 190,000 square foot facility is situated on almost 20 acres of land. A focal point is the commons area, which allows easy access to key features such as the library, gymnasium, theatre, specialized labs and technology facilities.
The school grounds incorporate the views of the surrounding natural landscape and enable students to take advantage of patio areas to study and interact. The new SMC sports area includes a playing field for football and soccer, a track and various training centres for field events.
“We are very proud of the new St. Mary’s College and greatly appreciate the unwavering support of our MPP David Orazietti in making this project a reality. This school exemplifies a new beginning for Catholic education in Sault Ste. Marie but at the same time a continuation of the successful traditions that were nourished at our former schools, Mount St. Joseph College, St. Basil Secondary and the old St. Mary’s College,” said Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) Director of Education, John Stadnyk.
Since 2003, the provincial government has increased HSCDSB per pupil funding by $6,381, an increase of 77 per cent, for a total of $14,574 per student. Additionally, the province has made numerous improvements to the funding formula since 2003, including creating new programs to support students and made it possible to protect 45 teaching positions and 31 early childhood educator positions that would have been eliminated with declining enrollment.
Giving local students the best 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.
- Since 2003, the Ontario government has invested nearly $80 million in new schools and school infrastructure projects at the HSCDSB, some of which include:
$52 million for new St. Mary’s College
- $14.6 million for new Holy Cross Elementary School
- $7.2 million capital funding to support implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten Program
- $3.9 million for retrofit of St. Basil Secondary School
- $2.5 million for energy efficiency projects at HSCDSB schools
- 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.