St. Paul High School (Ottawa)
|St. Paul High School|
2675 Draper Avenue
|School type||Separate high school|
|Motto||Fill Your Minds With All That Is True|
|School board||Ottawa Catholic School Board|
|Area trustee||Elaine McMahon|
|Number of students||950 (2016)|
|Hours in school day||6|
|Colour(s)||Gold, Blue, White|
|Team name||St. Paul Golden Bears|
The school originally opened in 1978 under the name Bells Corners Senior Elementary School. It was located at 411 Seyton Drive in the Bells Corners neighbourhood in the city of Nepean, Ontario. Delays in construction meant that the school was late in opening, students were not able to move in until October. Students spent the first month attending classes at their old schools. The school community asked that the school be renamed after Saint Paul, and the name was changed within the first year.
At first, it was a junior high school only, but after several years of renovations and adding more grades one by one each year, it finally opened as a full high school serving grades 7 through OAC in September 1987. It also adopted the new motto of "Fill Your Minds With All That Is True" at the same time. The school colours of brown and gold had to be replaced because they were the same as those of nearby Bell High School at the other end of Bells Corners. The colours of gold, blue and white took their place.
The following school year, 1988–1989, the school underwent another construction project. The portables were moved into the parking lot, leaving an empty space closer to the building. During the course of the year, a new ten classroom building was constructed, called the portapak. Construction finished around May 1989 and some classes were moved in from the portables.
At the beginning of the 1989-1990 school year, four more portables arrived, bringing the total (including the ten rooms in the portapak) to almost thirty. That year, construction took place on Holy Trinity High School in nearby Kanata. Holy Trinity was being built with the intention of reducing the level of overcrowding at St. Paul's.
Although Holy Trinity was supposed to open in time for the 1990 school year, a strike of construction workers put the school behind schedule, and it was not ready when school began. The solution was to have the building on Seyton Drive serve as both schools temporarily. Students attending St. Paul's went in the morning, starting classes an hour earlier than usual, and finished at noon. Students attending Holy Trinity attended during the afternoon. That continued for two months, until Holy Trinity was finally ready to open at the beginning of November.
At some point in the early 1990s, the name of the school was changed from St Paul's to St. Paul. Items around the school, including the sign over the main entrance, were altered to reflect this change.
In 1999, the school board made a surprise move by selling the building on Seyton Drive while purchasing the former John A. Macdonald school, which was being used by Champlain Elementary School and Collège catholique Franco-Ouest, of the French Catholic School Board. The new location would be located on Draper Avenue in the neighbourhood of Pinecrest, a few kilometres to the east. That was done without consulting or notifying the students of St Paul or their parents, and it caused a great deal of concern and even anger because it meant students would be travelling longer distances to get to school and also because the building was in need of many renovations. The school has since undergone many extensive renovations with the Ottawa-
Carleton Catholic School Board investing five million dollars to refurbish the facility and to bring it up to current standards. It has two gymnasia with hardwood floors, a university-style lecture hall, a cafeteria, new science and tech labs and an auditorium that can hold 750 spectators, ideal for both school and Board-wide performing arts initiatives.
The old building on Seyton Drive became Franco-Ouest, and has since undergone further expansion, with a new wing filling the courtyard that used to lie between the cafeteria and the industrial arts workshops.
The school logo is in the shape of a pentagon, with the two angled sides converging at the bottom. It has a blue border on a white background. In the centre, there is a blue cross with the school name “St. Paul” printed vertically on the cross in white letters. A gold maple leaf in the background silhouettes the cross. The crest is draped with a gold banner having a blue border. Written on the banner are the words of the school's motto: “Fill Your Minds With All That Is True.”