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Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:11

St. Angela’s Academy building sold to B.C. Islamic College

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By Aasa Marshall — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

After four years of sitting empty on the Saskatchewan prairie, the former St. Angela’s Academy in Prelate will again be filled with students from across the country.

The school, however, will undergo a complete transformation from its previous life: what was once a Catholic school for girls will now be revitalized as an Islamic school for boys.

The 92-year old institution, founded in 1919 by the Ursuline Order, was recently purchased by the Islamic College of British Columbia (ICBCC). The college took possession of the school August 15th, and intends to re-open its doors as The Darul Uloom, or House of Knowledge.

Mohammad Tayyab, President of the ICBCC in Hope, B.C., said plans are in place to run a boarding school for boys from grades four to 12, which will provide a traditional Islamic education with a focus both on academics and Qur’an studies.

The school should be up and running by the beginning of October. Tayyab said St. Angela’s is ideal. The facility is already set up for their purposes, and the rural location offers an atmosphere free of distractions, in which students can focus on their studies.

He said the goal is to house 100 to 150 students from across Canada once the school is up and running.

Sister Rosetta Reiniger, former Executive Director of St. Angela’s Academy, said it’s a relief that after four years of sitting empty, the school has finally been purchased.

The facility has been a drain on the remaining Ursuline Sisters who have had to continue paying bills while waiting for it to be sold.

It has been a frustrating process since St. Angela’s closed its doors on June 30th, 2007. At first listed at $4.2 million, the Sisters dropped the price to $2.7 million, and most recently to $999,000. The final sale price of the school is not being released.

A number of parties had expressed interest in the building, but no sale was confirmed until last week. Reiniger said a group from China had planned to set up a school to prepare foreign students for university, but complications with the immigration department prevented the sale.

Reiniger sis relieved the school has finally been sold.

“We are very happy to have a sale, that it will continue to provide education,” she said.

The campus consists of 9.4 acres and over 76,000 square feet of main building complex, according to the school’s website. It contains a gymnasium, auditorium, music rooms and maintenance workshops in addition to its classrooms, as well as a library, study hall, computer lab and conference room and chapel. There 49 rooms to house students.

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