Catholic school board to build multi-use facility

The York Catholic District School Board will build a multi-use school facility at Whitchurch-Stouffville that will be home to both an elementary school and a high school that, together, can accommodate 1,400 students, as well as a child-care centre.

The facility will be constructed on the east side of Ninth Line, south of Bethesda Road, part of a parcel of land that remains under appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

“We were very pleased to receive the news from the OMB regarding the site that we have identified for our newest school,” says Elizabeth Crowe, board chair. “This news means that we can finally begin with the design process.”

Following a two-month consultation process this spring, the board chose the names for the schools: St. Katharine Drexel Catholic High School and Blessed Chiara Badano Catholic Elementary School. A chapel in the high school will be named after Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, the patron of World Youth Day.

St. Katharine Drexel is the second American-born saint to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Born in 1858, she was an heiress who became a religious sister and educator. In 1915, she founded Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic University in the United States for African-Americans.

Chiara Badano was born in 1971 in Sassello, Italy. At a young age, she sorted through her toys to give them to poor children. She invited less fortunate people into the family home for the holidays and visited the elderly at a retirement centre. Though cancer left her paralyzed and confined to a bed, she wrote letters and sent messages to others. She died in 1990 at the age of 19.

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