School board ‘blessed’ with progress made at new Sarnia site

Construction is underway on the new Gregory A. Hogan Catholic School in Sarnia, and officials hope to have a roof on the facility before the summer season begins.

The St. Clair Catholic School Board (SCCDSB) began the construction process in October after receiving approval from the Ontario Ministry of Education in March 2022.

The school board had previously planned to start classes in September 2023, but has since pushed back the timeline and now expects students to move into the facility in January 2024.

Education Superintendent Scott Johnson said the second-floor slab was recently installed and all load-bearing walls are expected to be installed by the end of April.

“We have a new steel roof option and a metal deck arriving in April. The weather throughout the winter has really allowed us to take our time,” he said.

Construction of the new Gregory A. Hogan Catholic School in Sarnia – April 17th/23rd (Blackburn Media Photo: Natalia Vega)

Despite recent heavy rain this spring, Johnson said it hasn’t slowed construction.

“The fact that they want to put the roof on as soon as possible so that the weather is no longer an issue for us, we hope that will happen within the next two months,” he said.

The third phase of the project will proceed at cost, Johnson said. The school board has twice sought additional funding from the Department of Education, as the project, originally expected to cost $19 million, will now cost about $24 million or $25 million.

“The funding model and rising prices over the past six years of planning have been the biggest hurdles, but getting a second round of additional funding from the Department of Education this school year has really helped us get this project off the ground,” Johnson said.

Similar to the ground blessing held in the fall, Johnson said there will be a ceremony when schools begin, likely with the bishop in attendance.

The state-of-the-art school will serve 659 students and is located on Rapids Parkway.

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