Last Updated: Wednesday - 01/05/2011
October 15, 2001
St. Mary's Elementary completes the pichure
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — On the day that Holy Rosary High School had a grand opening, its old site, now St. Mary's Elementary School, was blessed by Archbishop Thomas Collins.
St. Mary's is a new school in a renovated building. This school was created to lessen the effects of overcrowding in two other elementary schools in the city.
The school that opened with 316 students from Kindergarten to Grade 7 wears blue and white for its official colours.
"This building was pretty much in orange, now it is in blue and white which are the colours of the Virgin Mary," Principal Dale Howland told the WCR.
The present building underwent three transformations in the last 37 years.
Built in 1964 as St. Mary's High School, it was converted to a junior high in 1968, then to Holy Rosary High School in 1984 until June 2001, when renovations began to make it into an elementary school.
"Our history has gone back to its roots to St. Mary's, when we adopted the original name of this building," Howland said.
"It's a joyous occasion that the city is celebrating the grand opening of two new schools in the division," Howland said.
Teacher Lori-Ann Betton told the WCR the children are excited about being part of the redesigned school.
"Today is the culmination of all the celebrations and preparations that we've done for the month of September," said the Grade 3 teacher, who prepared a booklet for her class to remember the day's grand celebration.
"The children are what is special about this school," Betton said. "They came from all over the city and we're going to be a big family."
Both Betton and Jeanette Noyes are appreciative of the support they received from the parents.
"(Parents) are an integral part of the school," Noyes said.
"They participate in our school activities like Mass and we see a lot of them on a daily basis," she said. "They are great role models for the children."
Parent Susan Lorinczy told the WCR her daughter is enjoying her new school.
"It's really big, lovely and not overcrowded like the last school they went to," Lorinczy said. "They enjoy the much smaller size of classes and the environment is fantastic."
Flynn McGrath has three girls at St. Mary's. "I think the family environment is what is special about this school."
McGrath appreciates the buddy system that the school adopted. Children of higher grades are assigned buddies to the younger ones.
Renovations are not totally complete and cost is estimated at $1.5 million to date. Funding came from the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
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