The History of St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School
The Original Building - 115 Glenvale Boulevard
St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School opened its doors on September 2, 1976. Located at the corner of Glenvale Boulevard and Central Park Drive in Brampton and situated on an eight acre site, St. Thomas Aquinas served the Catholic community of the Bramalea area.
Fr. Clare Tipping and Fr. Kelly Walker celebrated mass in the school gymnasium at the official school opening and blessing.
The original St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School plant was built as an intermediate school. It had a central core of 69,000 square feet. As the enrolment increased over the years, the additional students were accommodated with the addition of a 10,000 square foot portapak in 1980/81 and eventually 42 portable classrooms. When the school first opened in 1976, the enrolment was 500 students in grades 7 through 10. Under the guidance of the founding principal, Tom Reilly, the staff included 40 teachers and several secretarial and custodial staff. When it became financially feasible, the Dufferin-Peel Separate School Board added additional grades. By 1982, St. Thomas Aquinas had a full secondary school program of grade 9 to 13.
Before receiving secondary school funding, only grades 9 and 10 were publicly funded. Grades 11, 12 and 13 were financed through tuition and the contribution of teachers’ instructional time.
The Current Building - 25 Corporation Drive
St. Thomas Aquinas moved to its current location at 25 Corporation Drive in 1992. The school is situated on a 17 acre site. The 3 storey building offers 179,494 square feet of space and was constructed at a cost of $14,958,000.
Some of the features offered by the building include a 2 storey high Chapel that will seat 100, a 3 storey high forum and cafetorium, a 2 storey high library resource center and a triple gymnasium with 6 change rooms. There are 9 science labs, 5 computer rooms and facilities to offer a wide variety of technological programs, including Automotive, Construction, Communication, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Electronics, Cosmetology and Photography.
Outdoor facilities include a 400 meter running track, football field, 3 tennis courts and a practice soccer field.
Even with the new building, enrolment has continued to climb over the years to as high as 2,240 students and presently 1937. There are currently 22 portables onsite to accommodate the additional students.
In 2001, we added a 21 room, $5.2 million extension. The addition included 18 regular classrooms, a small theatre, two staff workrooms, a new Weight/Fitness room, new Dramatic Arts room, and an English Media Communications room.