The Toronto Catholic District School Board is pleased to announce the imminent completion of a new Catholic elementary school in the Morningside Heights area. Board officials, including former Trustee Tobias Enverga, Director of Education Bruce Rodrigues, MPP Bas Balkissoon, Associate Director of Education Angelo Sangiorgio, Superintendent of Education Anthony Petitti and Father Edwin Gonsalves, pastor of St. Barnabas Catholic Church, gathered to turn the sod for Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Catholic School on November 15th, 2011.
“This community has waited a long time for a Catholic school,” says Mr. Enverga. “It is wonderful to see this project moving forward, and I look forward to the official opening of the new state of the art facility in the near future.”
The 467-pupil elementary school building is divided into public and school use areas, and includes a multi-purpose room available for specialty programs and after hours use. The building will be barrier free and include an elevator and barrier free washrooms. The school includes purpose built classrooms for Full-Day Kindergarten, and will also feature well-defined, student-friendly playground areas that combine hard and soft landscaping. Environmentally friendly by design, the building incorporates enhanced access to natural light, particularly in classrooms, water efficient landscaping, enhanced site storm water management, an energy efficient building envelope which includes high performance windows and a cool white roof to reduce heat gain through the roof.
“This is but one of the many new schools and school additions that have been undertaken by the Board over the past year, and we look forward to many more opportunities to celebrate with our local communities as we continue this phase of building and expansion,” says Director of Education Bruce Rodrigues.
The school is named after Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was beatified in May 1990. Pier Giorgio developed a deep spiritual life which he never hesitated to share with his friends. In 1918 he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society and dedicated much of his spare time to serving the sick and the needy. He decided to become a mining engineer so he could "serve Christ better among the miners". A social activist, he joined the Catholic Student Federation and the Popular Party, a political organization which promoted the Catholic Church's teachings.
In 1922 he joined the Dominican Third Order choosing the name Girolamo after his personal hero, the Dominican preacher and reformer of Florence's Renaissance. He died on July 4, 1925 at the age of 24 after contracting poliomyelitis, which doctors later speculated he caught from the poor and sick whom he tended. Neglecting his own health because his grandmother was dying, his illness was too advanced for anyone to treat.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Catholic School was open to receive its first students in September 2013.
The official opening and solemn blessing of the new school took place on November 20th, with Bishop Vincent Nguyen, Father Edwin Gonsalves, Director of Education Angela Gauthier, Trustee Garry Tanuan, MPP Bas Bilkissoon among the many dignitaries in attendance. View photos from the event here http://www.tcdsb.org/schools/BlessedPierGiorgioFrassati/News/2013-2014/Pages/Blessing-and-Opening.aspx