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Why Spark The Spirit?


I am very pleased to be able to announce to the community that the City of Toronto has approved our site plans and permits for the construction of our new Student Life Centre Facility. I wish to extend my gratitude for the excellent work of the Building Committee composed by Danny Baltazar, our building consultant, and Domenic Salerno, our Director of Facilities at the College. With the fine efforts of the senior associate architect from Moriyama-Teshima, Cathy McMahon, and our Construction Managers from Eastern Construction, we are ready to forge ahead with one of the most ambitious projects in our school’s history.

I am personally grateful as well for the collaboration and support my office has had from the very beginning of this venture from the Board of Directors of the College and the Oaklands Charities and Property Foundation, the owners of the College.

Together with the entire school community, we can begin our Capital Campaign whose watchword will be “Spark the Spirit”. We need to stir up our energy and our enthusiasm to come together in the spirit of unity, of purpose and in our belief in the capacities, dignity and goodness of young people. We do this in a spirit of faith, in the firm belief that a Lasallian school is a privileged place where the young encounter salvation and develop into the best version of themselves, created in the image and likeness of God.
 


This new Student Life Centre will be more than just a building; it will be living testament to our enduring commitment to excellence in education and contribute to the spiritual, academic, and physical development of the dignity of the Christian concept of the person. Before the difficult years of the pandemic, the College struck a committee comprised of the administration, staff, parents and board members to explore the theme of ensuring healthy attitudes towards sports in a world where athletics has increasingly become harmful rather than constructive, economically prohibitive rather than accessible, and a vehicle for segregating the young rather than a unifying force. I am very well-aware as an alum myself that the closure of the hockey arena in favour of a facility which will offer a greater variety of experiences, was not without its detractors. However, given the limitations on our property, we will be in a far better place once the new building becomes a reality. Even in the provisional space, we were able to see how many more students benefitted from what was being offered. The use of space in the design of the new building will provide so much more, to more students, each day. Students win.

It will be a hub for student activity, providing a versatile space for learning, socializing, and personal growth. This facility will host sports, physical education classes, fitness and other recreational uses that will enhance the daily experience of every student at De La Salle College.

This project is being made into a reality due to the generosity of those who have supported the school’s mission for many years. Sound financial stewardship, the willingness of the Brothers’ to sacrifice a small amount of land on the lower campus, and the commitment of both the owners of the property and the school to prepare for the future, renders this new venture a reality. 

You will also understand that the Board of Directors and I do not want to place financial burdens on the shoulders of the families of our school by increasing tuition fees unduly or charging capital building fees. So boldly we go forward by turning to you, our devoted De La Salle community, for financial support.
 


Over the next three school years beginning what is left of the current school year, we have set a goal of $12 million. Some will say this is ambitious, but I believe it is achievable with the collective effort of our alums, parents, and friends. It is our considered opinion that meeting this objective will ensure that tuition fees will remain within some reach for families for the foreseeable future. It will allow us to keep to current levels of financial assistance to needy students, and secure healthy amounts of funds with our investments. This strong sense of collective stewardship will endure and steady the College for future students.

In the next few weeks, the school’s Development Team, will begin to present more information to you on how to give. The Capital Campaign for the Student Life Centre, led by a marketing campaign through 52 Pick-Up Inc., owned and operated by one of our own families, will guide the personnel in the Alumni & Development Office to approach donors, large and small, to contribute to this important project. Additionally, we will be exploring ways for our students to become involved. Students, currently in grades 5 to 10, will, it is hoped, be using this space by the calendar year 2026. Students who will have graduated, will come back, we hope, to use the many different spaces as proud alums.

We understand that each family's capacity to give varies, but we encourage every member of our community to contribute in any way they can. Whether through a one-time donation, a multi-year pledge, or participation in our fundraising events, every effort counts. Together, we can ensure that De La Salle College remains a well-respected beacon of Catholic education, preparing our students not just for academic success, but for a life of purpose and service.

The Student Life Centre will bear above its main entrance an inscription in honour of John Hunt, our  longest serving teacher in the history of the College. To contribute or if you wish to speak with someone in the Development Office, please visit our website or contact our Development Office for further details.

Thank you for considering a gift to the Student Life Centre campaign. With your support, we can build a legacy that will inspire generations of De La Salle students to come. Blessings to you and your families.

Yours respectfully,

Brother Domenic Viggiani
President, De La Salle College

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