Work begins on new French immersion school


Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative

Our Lady of Fatima School is in its last phase from a 2016 plan to consolidate seven schools into four.

The building site, on Baldoon Road in Chatham, will now house Monsignor Uyen Catholic School, the SCC’s French immersion school.

The current Our Lady of Fatima community will be relocated to the new St. Angela Merici Catholic School, along with students and staff from St. Vincent and St. Agnes Catholic schools, with classes to begin in September 2020.

St. Clair Catholic (SCC) School Board approved the next phase of renovations and contract awards at Monday night’s board meeting.

“This is an exciting project that will result in a fresh new look for the Fatima site, as it becomes the new home for French Immersion in Chatham,” Deb Crawford, director of education, said. “It is an important part of the board’s re-envisioning of Catholic education in Chatham.”

Renovations at the Fatima site will include a new main entrance and canopy with an atrium, an introduction of pod-style learning in the south corridor, an enlarged gymnasium, and a refresh of existing classrooms, with a complete replacement of flooring, new paint, new millwork, new tack boards and whiteboards, new classroom doors and window blinds.

Intrepid General Limited of Belle River was awarded the contract.

The project will cost $4,956,238 and will be funded by the board’s annual School Condition Improvement allocation.

The work is expected to be completed in time for Monsignor Uyen to begin classes in the newly renovated school in September 2021. COVID-19 school closures might allow for the company to start their work earlier, staff said.

Other board notes:

Staff at Ursuline College Chatham are looking into holding virtual graduation for the end of June, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

As the time of year for field trips approaches, teachers and now offering virtual field trips. Primary, junior and intermediate field trips to places like the Grand Canyon, Wonderland, St. Clair Conservation are available.

“This is an opportunity to provide authentic and relevant and engaging content for students to learn,” said Laura Callaghan, superintendent of education.





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