Province approves construction for long-awaited Windsor Catholic high school

·2 min read

The province has given Windsor's Catholic school board the green light to construct a new building for one of its high schools.

The Windsor-Essex County District School Board told CBC News that the announcement from the provincial government Friday was a major milestone for Catholic Central High School, as it's been years in the making.

The current building, located at 441 Tecumseh Rd. E., doesn't have air conditioning and staff say many rooms are too small. Some students have even had to head down the block to a different location for classes.

The money for the building, about $27 million, was provided by the Ministry of Education a few years ago. The Ontario government pitched in $7 million to buy the land.

"I have two boys that have already graduated from Catholic Central so my oldest one right away said, 'they've been talking about a school since I was in grade 9,' and I was like 'yeah, but it's finally here like this is the exciting part that eventually we are still going to have that new school,'" said the school's parent council chair Paulette Fortier.

Last year the Catholic board said it hired an architect to develop a design for the new school that is expected to have space for more than 900 students. The current location only holds 700 students.

Katerina Georgieva/CBC
Katerina Georgieva/CBC

The school community is highly diverse and includes many newcomer families.

"Equity doesn't mean that everybody gets the same thing, it means that those individuals who maybe don't have access to things that other people do have better access. It removes barriers, so I truly believe that this is a move toward allowing those students, who have for many years gone with a little less, to have a little more," said Danielle Desjardins-Koloff, principal of Catholic Central.

The board says it expects to receive tender pricing from a list of contractors and award a contract in early March.

Construction on the new building at 2465 McDougall St. is expected to begin later this year and the board anticipates the school will open in the fall of 2022.