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Construction Begins on New Catholic Secondary School in Fernbank

OTTAWA, Friday, November 7, 2014 – This morning, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) broke ground to begin the long-awaited construction of a new French-language Catholic school in the Fernbank area of Ottawa’s west end at 5315 Abbott Street.

This $27.1 million construction project is for a two-story school that can accommodate 759 students.

The new building will include the following:

17 classrooms
5 science laboratories
5 computer and technical laboratories
5 music and art rooms
3 student support rooms
1 stage, resource centre, cafeteria, chapel
1 triple gymnasium, 1 exercise room and 4 change rooms

During its first year of operation, the new secondary school will house students in grades 7 to 9. One grade will be added every year after that for a full complement of grades 7 to 12 in 2018-19.

Because construction will not be completed by the beginning of the 2015 school year, students will be temporarily housed at École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard for the first semester until February 2016.

As of the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, the enriched program will be offered to grade 7 and 8 students seeking a greater academic challenge. In addition, in accordance with the wishes expressed during consultation with the school community, the new secondary school will be equipped to offer a concentration that will make a series of specialized courses in a specific field available to all Ottawa students.

“This new school will meet a real need expressed by families seeking French-language Catholic secondary education for their children," explained Denis Poirier, Chair of the CECCE. “Rising enrolment at both of our secondary schools in Ottawa’s west end proves that the Francophone community in that part of the city is flourishing. This new school will help the Francophone community in Ottawa’s west end continue to thrive.”  

According to Bernard Roy, Director of Education of the CECCE, “Breaking ground is so much more than just digging up some dirt with a shovel. We are symbolically preparing the ground for what is to be built here: a nurturing community in which every child can learn, pursue their dreams and build a better world.”

Approximately 300 students in grades 7 to 9 within the catchment areas for Élisabeth‑Bruyère (excluding Bells Corners), J.‑L.‑Couroux, Saint‑Jean‑Paul‑II, Roger‑Saint‑Denis (excluding Crystal Beach) and Saint‑Rémi Catholic elementary schools will attend the new school when it is scheduled to open in February 2016.

With more than 21,000 students in 41 elementary and 10 secondary schools, as well as its school for adults, the CECCE is the largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside Quebec.

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