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Name chosen for new consolidated Catholic school

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What's old is new again.

The new consolidated catholic school will be named St. Mary School when it opens in the fall.

The Northwest Catholic District School Board passed a motion Tuesday evening to select the name from the three presented to them as options.

Superintendant of Education Jackie Robinson said in a report delivered to the board that the three names were selected from a pool that was generated by submissions from students in St. Michael's and St. Francis Schools, as well as from the general public.

A total of 45 unique names were generated from 108 submissions across the two groups.

Robinson said that the Naming Committee then took the list of names and worked down to a list of 4, which were submitted to Bishop Frederick Colli, who approved each submitted names.

The committee then selected three of those names for presentation to the board.

St. Mary School harkens back to the former St. Mary's School in Fort Frances, which was established in 1905 and closed by the Separate School Board in 1979. The report submitted to the board stated that the school was used as a shelter during the war.

Bishop John O'Mara School was another possible name considered by the board.

O'Mara was the third bishop of Thunder Bay, from 1976 until 1994, and worked with the Lakehead District Roman Catholic School Board to establish fully composite Catholic high schools in the city.

He is also the next bishop, chronologically, who does not have a school named after him in the region.

The final name submitted to the board for consideration was St. Teresa of Calcutta School. The committee noted that the name carried a strong social justice component to it, as Mother Teresa, who was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint in 2016, was well-known for her charity work.

The board was also presented an update on the consolidated school build at Tuesday night's meeting.

Seija Van Haesendock, the senior manager of finance for the board, noted that the general contractor for the build has now identified Aug. 30 as the substantial completion date for the school, which was previously planned to be finished for Aug. 1, giving staff the remainder of the month to move into the new school.

As a result of the change in timeline, senior administrative staff is now recommending an opening date of Sept. 30.

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