Skip to content

'I think it's beautiful': New $10.5M St. David school opens

Donovan school built in treed area off of Frood Road

As principal of St. David Catholic Elementary School for the past seven years, Dawn Wemigwans can't say enough good things about her students. She said the Donovan school's brand-new building on Frood Road is just an embodiment of how awesome her pupils are.

“It's taking all the goodness that's inside of everyone and physically representing it,” Wemigwans said.

The grand opening for the new $10.5 million St. David school took place Oct. 14, and involved a ribbon-cutting, speeches by local politicians, indigenous drumming and smudging, and a blessing by Bishop Marcel Damphousse.

The new building, located in a treed area off of Frood Road, is attended by 230 students from junior kindergarten to Grade 6. It replaces the old 1950s-era St. David school, located nearby on Jean Street.

Due to construction delays, the new building opened a year later than expected.  Although it finally opened in September, the school's lower level is still under construction, and expected to be completed by November or December. 

That means some students are attending class in the library, and the Best Start hub for young kids hasn't been able to move in yet.

As a nod to St. David's large indigenous population, the school features a First Nations theme. It also has large windows with lots of natural light and a view of the fall colours. There's also a bridge spanning a flowing creek.

Some trees were disturbed in the school's construction, so Yellowega Bélanger Salach Architecture, which designed the new St. David, is bringing by 50 trees to plant on school grounds next week.

“Your school was designed to respect the environment around it, to inspire your young minds and to embrace the indigenous culture that is alive and powerful here at St. David,” said architect Amber Salach. 

Grade 6 student Anthony Willis said he loves his new school. “I think it's beautiful,” he said. “It has much more natural lighting than the other school. Instead of asphalt we've finally got grass and a play structure.”

Sudbury Catholic District School Board chair Michael Bellmore said he thinks it's a beautiful building.

“This, boys and girls, is the foundation for all of you to develop and achieve, to dream and believe,” he said. “This is all for every one of you, and the students that come behind you.”


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.

Heidi Ulrichsen

About the Author: Heidi Ulrichsen

Read more