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Province supplying $16.5M for new French Catholic elementary school in the Valley

French public board also receiving $1M to convert downtown space for its adult and alternative school
Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) has received funding to build a new elementary school in between Hanmer and Val Thérèse. It's amalgamating three elementary schools in the area, including École St-Joseph (pictured). File photo.

The local French Catholic school board is receiving $16.5 million from the province to build a new elementary school for 567 students in the Valley East area.

In September 2014, Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) approved the consolidation of École Ste-Thérèse in Val Thérèse, and École St-Joseph and École Notre-Dame, both in Hanmer, into a new junior kindergarten to Grade 8 school on a new site.

The decision, which was made following a consultation with Valley East families during the 2013-2014 school year, was conditional upon securing funding from the Ministry of Education.

“We would like to thank the Ministry of Education for this great news that will allow us to provide modern learning space for our Hanmer and Val Thérèse students, as well as a welcoming, engaging, healthy and safe environment focused on Christ,” said André Bidal, CSCNO president, in a press release.

He said the school will be built in between Hanmer and Val Thérèse. Bidal said the board is currently considering several sites in the area. He said he's not sure when the school will be built, other than “as soon as possible.”

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter said in a press release that the government knows better buildings support better learning.

“This funding is a strategic investment in student achievement and well-being, and in the long-term prosperity of our province,” she said.

The local French public board, Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario (CSPGNO), is also receiving provincial funding to convert its education centre, located on Larch Street, into an adult and alternative school.

Currently, that alternative school, École Cap sur l'Avenir, is located in rental space on Larch Street.

CSPGNO director of education Marc Gauthier said the school board is receiving a little more than $1 million to renovate its current education centre to house École Cap sur l'Avenir.

Classrooms and accessible washrooms will be built in the facility so it's appropriate for students. The education centre will move into École secondaire Macdonald-Cartier.  

“First we're going to be getting out of the rental we have right now,” Gauthier said. “We're going to save money that way. Since we're going to be in a bigger space, we're going to be able to offer more options for those students.”


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Heidi Ulrichsen

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