In what sure will be a bittersweet moment, the students at St. Charles Catholic Elementary have started saying goodbye to their school.
In September St. Charles will amalgamate with Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary, to form the newly named Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School on the current site of Monsignor Clancy.
To commemorate the closing of St. Charles, students and staff are taking part in several activities this week.
“We just finished having one of our closing masses this morning,” says Chris Zanuttini, principal of St. Charles Catholic Elementary, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “Today and tomorrow students are going to make their way from here over to Monsignor Clancy and they’re going to have the opportunity to tour the site. Based on the emotions that we’re seeing they’re quite excited.”
It’s the end of an era, but St. Charles Catholic Elementary won’t be forgotten in the transition.
“We’re going to bring the current school mascot from here, as well as the original documents from St. Charles,” says Zanuttini. “We’re going to walk those over with us and going to present them to the school there and have them hung on the wall as part of the transition. It will be a symbolic moving over together.”
Come September, Zanuttini will transition together with the students and become the first principal of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School.
“To start we will have approximately 620 students,” Zanuttini says. “I certainly look forward to working with the two staffs to come together as one for the benefit of our Catholic school community.”
St. Charles Catholic Elementary has had a place on Whyte Avenue since the early 1950s, on land donated by the family of Charles Urlocker in 1951. Even though the closure is the end of a rich chapter in Thorold history, the name of the new school is a revitalization of another piece of Thorold heritage.
“The name of the school is reflective of the parish as well,” says Zanuttini. “There used to be an Our Lady of the Holy Rosary school in Thorold at one point in time. Moving over to the new one with a new name certainly is a real honour and I look forward to leading the community through the transition into the new building.”
What will happen to the St. Charles school building is yet to be announced.