Hogan family donates $200K for expanded community room

Design of the community room at Gregory A. Hogan Catholic School. June 2021. (Photo courtesy of the SCCDSB).

A generous donation from a local family will support an expanded 900 square foot community room at the new Gregory A. Hogan Catholic School.

A $200,000 donation was made to the St. Clair District Catholic Education Foundation on behalf of Barry and Marcia Hogan and Barry and Erika Hogan and their families.

“This generous gift is greatly appreciated by the board and the entire Hogan school community,” said Director of Education Deb Crawford in a statement. “This expanded community room will be a true benefit to the Sarnia community.”

Superintendent of Education Scott Johnson said outside organizations such as Children’s Aid, Sarnia Police Services, and Rebound will be able to rent the community room outside of school hours through CLASS.

“You might have language lessons taught, there might be parenting lessons taught by outside groups, there could be artistic clubs, senior citizen clubs, there could be faith-based organizations that don’t have a home to work out of,” he said. “Those are some of the examples that you would see after hours.”

Johnson said the community room would also allow for before and after school programs for students and staff that may include breakfast programs and religious services.

“This generous donation allows us to offer something in north Sarnia that will be a great gathering place for our staff, our students, our parents, and our community partners,” he said.

Johnson said the Hogan family has remained very active within the school community. The original school, named for Gregory A. Hogan, a Sarnia businessman and trustee of the Lambton County Roman Catholic Separate School Board, opened in May 1978.

“We’re blessed to have them be so generous to help us with this new community room,” said Johnson.

The new school will be built on The Rapids Parkway and will still carry the Hogan name. It is scheduled to open in September 2023.

“Our family has been blessed by the Sarnia-Lambton community over the years,” said Barry Hogan in a statement. “We feel this is a fitting way to give back and to honour the legacy of our father and grandfather, Gregory A. Hogan.”

Johnson said the community room will be larger than the typical 750 sq. ft. classroom. Its sliding glass doors will also offer an option to open the space up to the front foyer.

“It’ll really be quite a spectacular sight,” he said.

A detailed design plan of the new school was unveiled in April. Shortly after, the Ministry of Education approved the design of an expanded community room.

The new elementary school received $14,371,913 in funding from the provincial government in 2018 and was approved for an additional investment of $2,672,104 in order to include a child care facility.