Sainte‑Marguerite‑Bourgeoys high school teachers outside of the newly renovated Gibson Hall.

École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys in Kemptville opened the doors to their new high school building last Thursday, after months of anticipation. Principal, Angela Certosini, says the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) completely gutted the Gibson Hall on the Kemptville College campus to make it more user-friendly for their high school students. The building now has nine classrooms, including biology and chemistry labs in the basement, a creative space, atrium, workshop, and full kitchen. “We are looking forward to our students being all together and having access to all the facilities that a high school offers,” she says.

The inside of the building is crisp, clean and bright, with many colourful walls throughout the school. Angela says the building was also designed to be eco-friendly, with automatic lights in every room and sinks and blow dryers in the bathrooms. Students will have input in designing the layout of their atrium, as well as flexible seating for learning. This is the second building that the CECCE has renovated on the campus, after making a significant investment in Fraser Hall in 2016.

Student council co-president, Aaliyah Fleury, is very excited to finally be in the new building, which has been under construction since March. “It’s really nice,” Aaliyah said, after getting a tour of the building. “Now I feel like all the other schools.” She, along with all the enthusiastic teachers, arrived at the school early on Thursday to welcome the 48 students from Grade 7 to 11 who will now call the Gibson building home. Angela pointed out that the potential for growth is there, as the building has a capacity of 200 students. They will be adding Grade 12 to the high school in the 2019/2020 school year.

The atmosphere was certainly celebratory on Thursday morning, with balloons, music and personalized notes on each of the student’s lockers, welcoming them to their new school building. “It will allow us to transform the learning experience,” Angela says about the renovation. “We are more equipped to go the extra mile.”

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