The sod-turners: Mayor Don Atchison, Saskatoon Silver Springs MLA Ken Cheveldayoff, Tianna Myers from Forest Grove School, Education Minister Russ Marchuk, Cale Castleberry from St. Volodymyr School, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Board Chair Diane Boyko, Saskatoon Public Schools Board Chair Ray Morrison
Holy Family Catholic School sod-turning
A joint sod-turning was held on Tuesday, September 11 for Holy Family Catholic School and Willowgrove Public School. Prior to the official event, Father David Tumback from the Cathedral of the Holy Family blessed the site of Holy Family school. Delvin Kanewiyakiho, First Nations Cultural Leader with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, also blessed the site. Father David then led staff from the school division and cathedral in blessing Holy Family's first principal, Connie Tenaski.
The provincial government issued the following news release regarding the sod-turning event.
New joint project and joint-use child-care facility break ground in Saskatoon
SASKATOON (Tuesday, September 11, 2012) - Today Education Minister Russ Marchuk joined students, dignitaries and representatives from both the Saskatoon Public and Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division to celebrate the start of construction on a brand new $39.8 million joint-use education facility and an integrated joint-use child-care facility.
This partnership between both school divisions and the City of Saskatoon will see two projects form the joint facility; Willowgrove Elementary and Holy Family Elementary. A unique model, the schools share land that will accommodate instructional space for both public and Catholic students and house a joint-use child-care centre. Moreover, the schools will offer space to be used as a public civic facility. Combined, the facility will offer new educational space for more than 1,000 students and early learners ranging in level from pre-kindergarten to grade eight.
The Government of Saskatchewan has contributed $24.9 million toward the development of this project.
"We believe that investing in education is paramount to the success and future of Saskatchewan," Marchuk said. "This unique joint project and joint-use facility will serve students in this Saskatoon community for years to come."
"We're excited for the Willowgrove community as we see the plans we've made together for Holy Family Catholic School become a reality," Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Board of Education Chair Diane Boyko said. "Not only will Holy Family be a faith-filled centre of learning and achieving, it will also be a versatile gathering place for the entire neighbourhood."
The Government of Saskatchewan has committed approximately $500 million since November 2007 to move forward 41 major school capital projects and 856 additional smaller school capital projects across the province. This represents a record high investment in school infrastructure in less than a five year period.