SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — It cost about $25 million, houses 438 kindergarten to Grade 8 students and was officially blessed Oct. 20 by Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan.
All Saints Catholic and École Centennial public school occupy a joint use school in a new development in the northwest corner of the city behind the new regional hospital. Each school has its own area and identity, but together they share a library, band room, a few meeting rooms and the heating and air conditioning system.
“The total cost is about $50 million,” said Holy Trinity Catholic School District Financial Officer Gerry Gieni, “and cost difference between the schools is so small, we split the expenses 50/50.”
All Saints incorporates designs intended to enhance a student’s learning experience. The hallways are much wider and each classroom has a “garage door” which can be opened for more space when needed. colours are bright, there are lots of windows for natural light and the entrance features a large common gathering area.
“It’s really open and bright and I really love the windows because they’re coloured,” said Grade 8 student Sarah Cronan.
“It feels more welcome with all the colours and more happy,” said Dionne Sottie, and Marvin Bautista likes the gym. “It’s way bigger than our old gym.”
The opening mass and school blessing took place in the gym. The archbishop concelebrated the mass with Rev. Richard Jasiak, pastor of Swift Current’s Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, and Rev. John Mock, pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church, Shaunavon. All Saints students read the lessons and petitions and brought up the gifts at communion.
Bohan’s homily, which he delivered standing on the steps below the gymnasium stage, took a familiar theme based on Pope Francis’ call for Catholics to evangelize and be missionaries. He frequently engaged the students, asking questions about being part of the Body of Christ, and explaining evangelizing and being missionaries.
“In this new school you will learn how to do this,” said the archbishop.
Following his homily, Bohan blessed the water to be used and explained how it will be used. Armed with a sprig from a fir tree, he walked around the gym, sprinkling everyone, to the delight of the students. Representatives from each classroom were then invited to stand at the front of the gym and hold high the classroom crosses which the archbishop then blessed.
Following the service, students were given a treat of ice cream and invited guests were treated to a lunch provided by the All Saints School Community Council followed by a guided tour of the school. All Saints is part of Holy Trinity Catholic School District. It includes schools in Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Shaunavon.