Education Minister Lecce helps officially open St. Margaret d’Youville Catholic School in Whitby

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Published October 7, 2021 at 5:07 pm

What’s old is new again at St. Margaret d’Youville Catholic School in Whitby, which re-opened last month after a two-year re-build on the original site on Michaels Boulevard.

The school originally opened in 1990 but the decision was made in 2019 to re-build the school, thanks to $11.5 million in funding from the Provincial government. The school re-opened in September in time for the new school year and Education Minister Stephen Lecce was on hand Thursday via ZOOM to make the formal announcement.

Lecce said it was “exciting” to open a new school and called the facility, which has room for 323 elementary students, 24 licensed child care spaces, a new child care room and an EarlyON Child and Family Centre, the “gold standard” for new school construction.

“Building a new school requires capital and it requires co-operation.”

The construction process was not without its setbacks, including a fire set last November that police labelled arson and caused $1 million in damages. But the new facility has all the new bells and whistles, including upgraded ventilation systems mandated by the pandemic and state-of-the-art learning spaces.

“The funding for this new school is great news for our community,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby, who called the new school build a “critical project” for the community. “This investment will provide a quality learning environment and new opportunities for the children of St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary School.”

“We are thrilled to be back,” added Morgan Ste. Marie, Chair of the Durham Catholic District School Board, who thanked staff and students at nearby St. John the Evangelist for housing St. Margaret d’Youville students during the build process. “We are grateful to the Government of Ontario for the investment in this 21st century Catholic school that meets the needs of our students and future generation of learners in the growing Whitby community.”

The Ontario Government is investing up to $1 billion over the next five years to create up to 30,000 new child care spaces in schools, as well as $14 billion in capital grants for new schools, additions and major renovations over the next decade.

St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary School is named for Marie-Margaret d’Youville, who founded the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (known as the Grey Nuns) and was canonized in 1900, the first native-born Canadian to be given that honour.

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