BREAKING GROUND — The ground was officially turned for an expansion to the St. Thomas More College building in Saskatoon Oct. 15. From left: STM Student Union president Desiree Steele; Board of Governors vice-chair Kieron Kilduff; STM president Dr. Terry Downey; STM dean Dr. Carl Still, chief financial officer Derrin Raffey; director of mission and ministry Gertrude Rompré and Philomena Ojukwu of the Newman Centre council. (Yaworski photo)
STM breaks ground for new addition
By Kiply Lukan Yaworksi
SASKATOON — With construction equipment waiting in the background, officials and special guests gathered Oct. 15 at St. Thomas More College on the University of Saskatchewan campus to officially break the ground for an $8 million building expansion.
Two $500,000 leadership gifts to the St. Thomas More (STM) Creating More capital campaign were also announced at the ground-breaking celebration.
David and Karen Holst of Warman, Sask., have donated half a million
dollars to the expansion project, as has Allan Markin of Calgary.
“This is an historic occasion — and not just because we have dug up the foundation of the ‘White House,’ the original building that was here — but it is historic in a number of other dimensions as well,” said STM president Terry Downey, noting this is the first expansion of the college in many years, despite significant enrolment growth, and it is the first expansion for STM in the 21st century.
The new facility will enhance student experience and “ensure a continuation of the uniquely inspiring learning experience that is the STM academic tradition,” Downey said.
“We are entering an era in this 21st century where communications have never been more important, the ability to work on teams has never been more important, the ability to understand and appreciate different perspectives has never been more important, and critical thinking has never been more important — all of those are the hallmark of what we do here at STM.”
Student Philomena Ojukwu said the building expansion represents the Catholic college’s commitment to students and to the future.
“So much of my university life has been informed by my experiences in this building,” Ojukwu said. She noted that education and formation happens through many encounters, both inside and outside the classroom, and stressed the importance of having adequate and varied space for those experiences and dialogues.
STM campus ministry team members Michael MacLean and Madeline Oliver led a prayer, asking Rev. Ron Griffin, CSB, and Rev. André LaLach to bless the site, before a group of STM leaders stepped forward to ceremonially turn the ground for the project.