The Growth of St. Andrew’s Over the Years


St. Andrew’s Regional High School began as the dream of a group of interested Catholics who desperately wanted to open a Catholic High School. When the current location (the former Sacred Heart Elementary School) became available on McKenzie Ave, the High School Project Committee comprised of Monsignor Hanley, Fr. Ken Bernard, Sister Pat Dickinson, Dr. Krutzmann, Mrs. James. Mr. Siska, Mr. Martin, Mr. Middleton, and Mr. Dery, brought a proposal forward to the Bishop and the Catholic Public Schools of Victoria Diocese. The proposal was accepted by the Diocese and renovations began sometime after. At a cost of $200,000, sprinklers were installed and school furnishing and equipment purchased. In September 1983, the dreams of the committee and supporting community members finally became a reality. St. Andrew’s Regional High School opened on McKenzie Ave. with a student population of 126 and staff count of 12. Sister Pat was appointed Principal from Grades eight through eleven. As described by Marnie, one of the many students who attended St. Andrew’s when it first opened, “It was exciting for us to come to the new location as pioneers. I remember looking down the one long hallway and saying to myself, is this it? There were no portables, no field, and no basketball courts – just one long hallway. It has been a great experience to watch the school grow…” Since opening in 1983, the high school has grown steadily. Continued demand for quality Catholic education at the secondary level in Victoria resulted in the need for further expansion right away. In 1984, students and staff appreciated being able to spill over into three portables generously provided and installed by the Knights of Columbus.

On Sunday, November 16th, 1986, the school community gathered with Bishop Remi De Roo to bless and dedicate the first of a series of series of expansion and renovation projects over the next fifteen years designed to accommodate increased enrolment and improved facilities available for teaching and learning. The 1986 addition provided a new library, a new gym, new administrative offices, two new classrooms and two science labs. The school enrolment continued to grow and the number of staff grew with it.

In the fall of 1997, a new second floor addition comprising two new computer labs, two enormous science labs and five new classrooms was completed. There was also a lounge area with space for students to eat their lunches included in the plans. During construction, a small trailer park was assembled out back to accommodate the growing number of students. When construction was completed, the building committee dispensed with all of the portables except Portable 5/6 and the original and venerable portables 7, 8, 9. A covered courtyard with picnic tables, an outdoors gathering place for students during breaks and lunch – was also available.

To meet the growing student population of St. Andrew’s and in response to the unique classroom needs of the music, band, jazz band, yoga and rowing programs, two additional double portables were added to the school site in 2008 and 2010. The Music Program Portable and the Fitness Centre, have added specialty areas that support and encourage student growth and development in the areas of physical fitness, athleticism and the performing arts.

 

Future Growth and Expansion

St. Andrew’s High School is built on a deeply rooted commitment to Catholic education in the Victoria Diocese. The creedal statement for Island Catholic Schools, which is integral to the mission of St. Andrew’s states that we believe “each child is sacred and unique; that the school community can create a positive environment which encourages students to learn and grow to their individual potential; that each student can learn to discover inherent gifts in themselves and others…”

To that end the Bishop and Board of Directors for Island Catholic Schools are committed to providing safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable Catholic School environments, in which students can experience meaningful learning and development. The present St. Andrew’s School site will be the site of an extensive renovation and upgrading project scheduled to commence in the near future (see Bishop’s letter).
 

Testimonials
This is how I explain what religion at this school teaches me. Sure I learn the history and analyze the Bible, but I also have been forming a set of morals and values that will go with me for the rest of my life. They are the foundation of who I am.
Breanna Student
I am very excited to be able to link my Olympic journey, full of trials and tribulations, back to a very important time and place in my life: St. Andrew's Regional High School.
Dave Calder Alumnus
I feel truly blessed to have had the privilege of attending St. Andrew’s Regional High School. St. Andrew’s has given me the opportunity to grow spiritually, academically, artistically, and athletically.
Nick Student