MATTAWA – In a season of celebration, the Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord had another big day on Friday with the opening of not one, but two schools in the Town of Mattawa.
The opening ceremony for École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Anne and École secondaire catholique Élisabeth-Bruyère was an enthusiastic occasion with students and community members coming together in the shared gymnasium.
“We’ve been waiting for years for this and today it is such a relief. It is like we finally made it home,” said Sainte-Anne prinicipal Daniel Gaulin.
Located behind St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, the new structure places secondary and Grade 7 and 8 students on the north side of the school and primary grades on the other half with each having their own entrances and office. The student bodies share a cafeteria, stage and gymnasium.
The about $13 million project had been planned for some time though construction only began in earnest last year.
The primary students had been attending Ste. Anne French Catholic school in Mattawa, while secondary students shared the Near North high school F.J. McElligott.
From grades JK to 6 there are 131 students in the new Ste. Anne.
“The students are loving their new school, in particular their beautiful new gym, library and spacious classrooms. Everything is shiny and new, desks, classroom furniture, etc. so it is hard to point out one thing in particular they appreciate more than anything else. They are simply in awe of it all. Every classroom has an interactive Smart board and surround sound so the technology is always a hit,” said principal Jill Huot.
The two schools are the third and fourth openings of the year for Franco-Nord which has already taken the wraps off of a new Grade 7/8 wing on Algonquin Secondary School and a complete overhaul of the elementary school École élémentaire catholique Saints-Anges earlier this month.
Written by Rob Learn.