Rapid build construction on schedule at St. Mary School

Elisa Nguyen
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Many renovations were recently completed over the summer to provide new equipment and facilities for students at The Northwest Catholic District School Board (TNCDSB), and the construction of new classrooms has been on schedule at St. Mary School.

At the board meeting on October 17, 2023, which was hosted at the Fort Frances Board Office, Dryden Board Office and via Google Meet, renovation photos and a brief summary of this year’s Summer Facility Projects was presented.

Starting with Sacred Heart School, a new roof was installed on one of the portables to solve a leaking issue. New paving was completed around the basketball courts, bathroom countertops and faucets were replaced, several classrooms repainted, and a bit of hallway work was completed near the gym.

At St. Josephs School, new flooring was done in the kitchen area, as well as a new countertop and faucet. The library received new carpet, and crumbling stairs were replaced.

To solve a water flow problem, and to prevent an unwanted “skating rink” from forming in the winter, cement skirting was placed around the shed.

To the excitement of students along with residents in the community, a new playground was installed at Our Lady of the Way School. One board member noted that playground equipment is also often well-used after school hours, making it a great addition to the community.

At St. Patricks School, the backstop was fixed and a new learning deck was installed in front of the school. Quite a bit of paving was also completed around the basketball courts and around the sheds, something that the board was hoping to get done for several years now.

“Now when we finally were able to get the contractor, the paving company there, we got it done this year,” a board member said. “So we’re excited about that.”

Last but not least, at St. Mary School, the building of new classrooms are well on their way.

“They’re starting to put the roof on,” said a board member. “I need to clarify that it’s not a modular build, it’s actually just a rapid build in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario and the ministry.”

Roof trusses can be seen in the photo presented to the board via Google Meets, showing that a roof will soon be installed. Blank walls for the soon-to-be classroom were also shown in the photos.

“We are moving along,” the board member said. “As of two weeks ago, we were still on schedule. We’ll find out tomorrow how we’re doing with the schedule now.”

Another board member shared a word of thanks for the presentation and said they hoped the amazing weather will keep up for the remainder of the building period at St. Mary School.

Work is proceeding well on the new additions to St Mary School in west Fort Frances. New classrooms are being added to the school in a rapid build in partnership with In- frastructure Ontario. – TNCDSB photo