The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board’s new school is ready for students, after about a year of construction and $9 million.
“The opportunity for us to build, allows us to refurbish three aging school communities,” said Jody DiRocco, the director of education with the ALCDSB.
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, located in Kingston’s north end, consolidates students from Holy Family, St. Peter and St. Patrick elementary schools.
It is touted as a modern, unique facility and the first of its kind in Ontario.
“Our school will allow us to do some creative things as far as co-teaching and co-planning, really meeting the needs of our students,” said Dan Finn, the first principal at the school.
Three hundred twenty students will make use of the more-than-36,000 square foot property.
The two-storey building includes more than a dozen learning studios, several learning commons, a media common and a shiny new gymnasium.
Most of the spaces are broken up by sliding glass garage doors as opposed to regular doors.
“It limits the blind sight lines. We can see students wherever they are located. If you’re in the centre of a room, you can see the learning common and the two studios,” said vice-principal Chris Gencarelli.
Staff commented that everything from the architecture down to each piece of furniture is strategically placed to accentuate the flexible learning spaces.
“To give a child what he or she needs in that moment or time. Whether it’s a chair that rocks slightly or moves slightly or an exercise bike for a child to expend some energy or for a child that wants to sit higher on a standing table,” Gencarelli said.
Faculty members are excited for the school year ahead at the so-called “home of the wolf den.”