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‘Welcome to the Viper Dome’

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‘Welcome to the Viper Dome’

Opening the new Viola Desmond Elementary School reminded Principal Tina Morabito of another new build, closer to home.

“It was interesting because 25 years ago I built a new home with my husband and after that experience, I said ‘I will never do a new build again,’” said Morabito.

“Now I’ve got the biggest build of my career.” It’s 68,000 square feet.

It’s a spacious, well-lit, three-story ‘home’ for 720 students now, with 21 classrooms, five purpose-built Kindergarten rooms and more. Students arrived from the five school communities of Glen Brae, Glen Echo, Sir Isaac Brock, Elizabeth Bagshaw and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Morabito’s touches are everywhere: the light-purple walls, the light wood furniture, the vinyl lettering of the welcome message (in Viper font) that greets you in the foyer.

“When I retire, I am going to come back and be (sad). This was my baby,” said Morabito, as we started to tour the school just east of the Red Hill Valley, south of Queenston.

She has more ideas for the home of the Vipers, which is holding its Open House during Education Week 2022.

It was one of several HWDSB schools that were opened or significantly renovated during the pandemic, including Collegiate, Greensville, Mount Albion, Nora Frances Henderson, Rockton, Spring Valley and South Meadow.

Let’s take a tour of a school that opened to little fanfare during the pandemic…



Updated on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
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