Boards to share $24M school

The Sudbury Star - - FRONT PAGE - BRIAN KELLY

Con­struc­tion of a new school in Es­panola shared by two school boards will take about two years to build and cost nearly $24 mil­lion.

Huron-Su­pe­rior Catholic Dis­trict School Board and Con­seil sco­laire catholique du Nou­vel- On­tario are team­ing up to build the two-storey, 79,800-square-foot build­ing on seven acres of land on Mead Boule­vard. The site in­cludes day care spa­ces for 120 young­sters.

The for­mer Sa­cred Heart elementary school, lo­cated on that prop­erty, was de­mol­ished in 2016 be­cause it was “too pro­hib­i­tive to re­pair,” EPOH ar­chi­tect Franco Pa­s­tore told HSCDSB trustees dur­ing a meet­ing this week. The build­ing was con­structed in 1919. Stu­dents are now at­tend­ing classes at the for­mer A.B. El­lis school on Park Street. Stu­dents from A.B. El­lis re­lo­cated to Es­panola High School, op­er­ated by Rain­bow Dis­trict School Board.

A re­quest for pro­posal for ten­ders to build the school went out Sept. 7. Con­struc­tion will start, at the lat­est, in the spring of 2018 and take 20 to 24 months to com­plete, said Pa­s­tore. Pro­ject bud­get is $23.8 mil­lion, with HSCDSB pay­ing $10.5 mil­lion of that amount, said su­per­in­ten­dent of busi­ness Chris Spina in an email.

“It is one school, but it also func­tions as two schools with shared spa­ces,” Pa­s­tore told trustees. “The ob­jec­tive with the de­sign was to cre­ate as much par­ity as pos­si­ble so that one board didn’t have more than an­other.”

The stu­dent is ex­pected to house 271 HSCDSB stu­dents from Ju­nior Kinder­garten to Grade 8, and 363 CSCNO stu­dents from JK to Grade 12. Es­panola is home to Ecole Saint-Joseph and Ecole sec­ondaire catholique Franco- Ouest.

Gen­eral of­fices will be on the main floor, as will class­rooms and a dis­cov­ery room for each school and three elementary-sized gyms. Two of those gyms can be com­bined to make one sec­ondary-sized gym­na­sium. The shared spa­ces are “strate­gi­cally placed” in the mid­dle of the build­ing, said Pa­s­tore.

An art room and more class­rooms are on the sec­ond floor. High school classes will also be up­stairs, so there’s “sepa­ra­tion” be­tween the younger and older stu­dents, said Pa­s­tore.

Play­grounds will be split into zones for pri­mary, ju­nior and in­ter­me­di­ate stu­dents at­tend­ing the two elementary schools. A Best Start Hub will be on the north side of the prop­erty. Day­care fa­cil­i­ties will also be in each school.

The site of the for­mer St. Louis de France Catholic church will be turned into a park­ing lot. Fenc­ing around the perime­ter of the prop­erty will help “pro­tect the chil­dren,” said Pa­s­tore. Kinder­garten stu­dents from the two schools can di­rectly ac­cess se­cure play­grounds.

The English Catholic board has planned to re­place Sa­cred Heart school since at least 2007.

HSCDSB and CSCNO share sites in sev­eral other Al­goma Dis­trict com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing Wawa and El­liot Lake.

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