It doesn’t have a name yet, but the new Catholic school under construction on Ross Street in Smiths Falls is still on schedule to open in September 2018.
Bill Gartland, director of education at the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, provided an update for Smiths Falls town councillors at a meeting on Dec. 4. Having announced his plans to retire in January, Gartland was joined at the meeting by his successor, John Cameron.
“The school’s moving along at quite a nice pace,” said Gartland. “It doesn’t have a name yet, but it will shortly.”
Gartland noted that the builders hit a lot of rock, requiring a lengthy and noisy process of chipping. He thanked the neighbours in the area for their patience. Classrooms are being completed now, and windows and roofing are being installed. The building will incorporate some innovative design features, in the form of sliding glass walls between classrooms, which can be opened up to create a single large space for “co-teaching opportunities.”
A $14.1 million project, the new school will provide space for up to 423 Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 students. The students will come from the existing St. Francis de Sales and St. James the Greater schools.
The project includes a 5,000 square foot child and family treatment centre, to be supported by the County of Lanark.
“It’s a real plus for our community,” said Smiths Falls Councillor Chris Cummings.
“We know that when people are looking to move to a new community, schools are a big factor,” agreed Mayor Shawn Pankow.