Today, Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools’ Board of Trustees hosted the official grand opening of the Division’s newest school: St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy (SKTA) in Morinville.

The Hon. Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity; Their Worships Barry Turner and Alanna Hnatiw, mayors of the Town of Morinville and Sturgeon County, respectively; the Most Reverend Paul Terrio, Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul; and Edna Arcand, an Indigenous elder from Alexander First Nation; were joined by students, school division officials, other dignitaries, and special guests for the formal celebration and blessing of the new $13.2-million school.

In keeping with public health guidelines, the public was not permitted to attend the event on-site; however, the program was livestreamed to the community.

“This is an exciting day for Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools and this community,” says Trustee Noreen Radford, Board Chair.

“Today’s grand opening is the culmination of more than six years of anticipation and planning and represents the shared vision of our community partners. This long-awaited project reflects our Division’s valued and cooperative partnerships with the province and municipalities, and we are profoundly grateful for their support.”

The school, which opened to students in August for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, provides space for up to 350 pre-K to grade 5 students in Morinville and surrounding areas.

“This beautiful new school will remedy long-standing enrollment pressures and will help to meet the needs of this rapidly-growing community for years to come,” says Dr. Clint Moroziuk, Superintendent of Schools.

“We are blessed by this beautiful school, and blessed by the wonderful saint whose name the school bears. I know that St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy will serve many students as they grow in knowledge and faith during their time in this school.”

Designed by Group2 Architecture and Interior Design, Inc., and contracted by Jen-Col Construction, the more than 33,992 sq. ft. facility has been designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver specifications. Out of respect to St. Kateri as the patroness saint of ecology and the environment, SKTA boasts solar panels on its exterior and interior, as well as outdoor green social spaces. Bicycle parking will be maximized as a way to encourage more active modes of transportation.

The building features modern learning spaces that support 21st Century learning and honour the school’s namesake. Each component of the building, including its coloured pods, represents specific aspects of St. Kateri’s life.

SKTA provides a strong academic focus and offers a sports academy (options include gymnastics, cheer, dance, and hockey). More information about the school and its programming, as well as about the inspirational saint whom the school is named after, is available at its website.

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