On April 30, staff and students had a little bounce in their step as they took a different route to school for the opening of the new, state-of-the-art, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Elementary School.
With the cut of the official ceremonial ribbon, students were given the star treatment as they were welcomed by members of the Bishop Ryan drumline while taking their first steps inside.
The new 2-storey facility, which covers 5,736 square meters, now sits off Rymal Road on the corner of Fletcher Road and Bellagio Avenue and is home to 512 students.
Bringing greetings on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Chairperson Patrick Daly congratulated the community on the new facility and noted that while the new building is more than double the size of the old Our Lady of the Assumption, the school's reputation of excellence and support will certainly carry on.
"The tremendous leadership of your principal, the goodness and Christian worship of your teachers, and the dedication of all the staff of the school and parents of this school community has not changed," he said.
And the students?
Principal Linda Fama has a special task for them as they start their new chapter.
"Many hands have been involved in the process of building this school: From the initial plans to the construction to the furnishing. Now, this is your turn to fill our home with memories and love," she said.
Before staff and students were dismissed to explore their new classrooms, Christian Service Animator Melissa Button performed a smudging ceremony to cleanse the school, a tradition practiced in Indigenous cultures.
Burning a mix of sage, sweet grass and cedar, Button used the smoke to purify the gymnasium.
“Smudging is a form of prayer and giving thanks,” she said.
“As I go around the room, I will bring good energy, healing and protection for all of you and your school and I will ask the Creator to guide you on your new journey.”
An official blessing and dedication ceremony for Our Lady of the Assumption is scheduled on June 12.