During the 1880's, Sudbury was seeing a boom in the mining and logging industries. The boom resulted in more families coming to Sudbury and an increase in the number of students attending school. French families, unhappy with ethnic division, sought to create a Catholic Separate School. On April 9, 1888 the newly formed Catholic Separate School was officially recognized. Classes were originally held in a vacant house and eventually moved to the church.Status: Abandoned | Category: Educational
When the church burnt down school officials began looking for property upon which to build a new school. A lot of land behind the former church was purchased and a four-room school constructed. In January of 1895, the Brown School officially opened. 115 children attended Brown School, filling three of the four classrooms.
Student enrollment continued to rise and by September of 1901 all four classrooms were being used. In 1905, continuing enrollment led to two of the classrooms being split in half. In 1909 the school board had to request the use of the parish's Jubilee Hall for overflow students. As a result the top floor of the hall was designated for two classrooms.
Still the students continued to enroll and in 1910, two additional classrooms were created in the lower half of the Jubilee Hall. The school board now had a total of ten classrooms.
On January 17, 1894 the school board passed a motion allowing children to receive schooling exclusively in their mother language. The motion caused an imbalance in classroom size as two thirds of the student population spoke French yet only half of the classrooms were for French speaking students. The result was that French-speaking students were losing their heritage as the English language began to prevail.
In March of 1912 the school board purchased a plot of land from the CPR and construction began on a replacement twelve-room school. Central School as it was named, opened in January of 1915 and was christened by Bishop Scollard.
By 1928 Central School became known as St. Louis de Gonzague, named after the Jesuit and saint.
Within four years of opening, Central School was enrolled to its limit. Bishop Scollard recommended that new schools be built in each ward. Taxpayers were consulted and the approval was given for new schools. They included École Ste. Marie, St. Albert School, and École Nolin.
In December of 1920, one of the school board trustees suggested that a second Central School by built for Anglophones so that they could create their own school system. The motion was highly controversial and was passed by one vote. English-speaking nuns were hired to teach the English students.
The new Central School for English students was opened by September of 1923. It was named St. Aloysius and contained eight classrooms.
The original French school, brown, was sold by the Jesuit priests in 1927 and two years later began operating as the Orphelinat D'Youville (D'Youville Orphanage). This building was demolished by the City of Sudbury.
From 1930 to 1980, the French who wanted to continue their school had no school. Therefore, the Board of Sudbury High School has decided to offer a bilingual program in 1930. This program was offered at École St-Louis de Gonzague until 1940, when they moved to Sudbury High School.
Today St. Louis de Gonzague has been renovated and is available as rental space. St. Aloysius remains vacant and abandoned.
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