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TDChristian breaks ground for new science wing

Written on May 20th, 2009

[caption id=”attachment_2849” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]RenFS TDChristian principal Ren Siebenga speaks at the school’s ground breaking ceremony.[/caption]

Expansion focuses on sustainability

Toronto District Christian School (TDChristian) recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the high school’s new science wing.

Held May 7, the groundbreaking ceremony was part of the school’s annual grandparent’s day. The mayor of Vaughan, Linda Jackson, attended as well as other city and regional councillors to give best wishes and congratulations.

Titled Embrace the Future: Project 2010, the plan is for construction to be completed in September and paid off by Dec. 31, 2010.

Project 2010 was developed to address a need for more designated science rooms. Some science classes are being taught in non-science rooms, which is challenging for the teachers, says the school’s vice-president of communications Justin De Moor.

A capital campaign was put together and a donor came forward with a million dollar matching gift, which triggered the campaign to raise at least an additional million. Key donors were identified and more than $1 million was raised by September 2008.

The school then conducted a wider campaign with the current membership, reaching $2.4 million pledged. Total cost for the project is $3 million.

[caption id=”attachment_2848” align=”alignright” width=”168”]studentsSod175 Students Devon Flikkema and Shelby McClenny turned over the first shovel full of sod.[/caption]

“There’s been incredible generosity of the community and the fact that most of the contributions have come from outside of tuition-paying families is a real blessing,” says De Moor, noting that with the cost of independent education current families already pay a lot in tuition.

“To have key donors, many of whose kids graduated a long time ago, still have TD as a place that they want to support and to see thrive in the future is a wonderful thing to see and experience,” he says.

De Moor says it is exciting to see a need being addressed.

“Currently, almost every corner of our school building is used during the day and there are not a lot of quieter places that students can go,” says De Moor.

The expansion adds 12,443 sq. ft. and includes enhanced science and environmental rooms, a spacious library/media centre, an enlarged art room, an enlarged music room and new practice room, as well as spaces for lounging and studying.

The project models stewardship in more ways than economic sustainability, with a vision for the new wing to be a living laboratory — a place to learn about sustainability and also implement conversation strategies and technologies to harvest onsite resources.

The new wing focuses on environmental stewardship, with plans for solar panels on the glass ceiling of the new atrium. The washrooms plan to have high-efficiency toilets flushed by rainwater collected from the roof.

“Sustainability is a big part of what we’re looking at,” says De Moor.

Though the expansion is adding approximately 10 per cent increased area to the building, it is not done with the intention of increasing enrolment, but rather to be able to better meet the needs of the current 450 students at the school, notes De Moor.

“Now that the shovel is finally going in the ground and people are starting to hear machines and saws and hammers and stuff like that the real excitement comes,” he says.

To learn more about Project 2010, visit TDChristian’s website at www.tdchristian.ca.