Staff, students and dignitaries gathered this week at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds to officially dedicate the brand new, thoroughly modern facility.
“There are many great days and many great events in the life of a school board trustee, but days like this are amongst our favourites,” said Guy Pelletier, board of trustee chair. “This is really an incredible thing for us – and we can’t overstate how proud we are of the opportunity to do this.
“Schools like St. Gregory don’t just happen – it takes the effort of a lot of people,” he said. “You’ll also be happy to know that we did finish under budget and on time,” he added.
St. Gregory the Great Catholic School is a pre-Kindergarten to Grade 9 school which is designed to accommodate up to 500 students.
The design of the school is intended to facilitate collaborative, project-based learning in an inclusive environment, noted the school’s web site.
“I also want to acknowledge the town of Blackfalds for supporting us, and welcoming St. Gregory the Great to their community.”
Pelletier explained that St. Gregory was a major figure in Christianity who lived about 1,400 years ago.
“I happen to think you guys have the coolest name in the whole school division,” he told the students in the audience. “Don’t tell the other schools that! But when your school’s name has a ‘Saint’ in front of it and the word ‘Great’ at the end of it, you know he must have been a pretty cool character. From what I know, he was really committed to social causes and to helping the needy, too.
“As trustees, we are very, very grateful to play a small part of the steps of these students to lofty heights – without education, we know that little else is possible. The walls of this school will witness many great things in the coming years,” he added. “You guys will all be part of that, and you’ll become a great part of the fabric of the community of Blackfalds, too.”
Mayor Melodie Stol said she was Blackfalds Town council and administration staff are excited to about working with the school staff, “And we very much look forward to getting to know our students better.”
Adriana LaGrange, president of the Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association said that she is blessed to serve not only as president, but also as a trustee with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools for the past 10 years.
“I personally know the years of advocacy that have gone into making this school a reality, and I want to commend all of you for never, ever giving up the vision of having a Catholic school here in the beautiful and growing community of Blackfalds.”
The program also included an opening prayer, prayers of intercession, a blessing of the school community and a performance by the school choir.