Wednesday, 16 March 2022 09:42

CECCE Leases Purvis Hall to Expand Educational Programming on Kemptville Campus

The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) and the Kemptville Campus Education and Community Centre have finalized an agreement to lease Purvis Hall. Among other things, the agreement will enable the CECCE to expand the Académie catholique Notre-Dame (ACND), which currently occupies the campus's Gibson Hall and Fraser Hall.

Kemptville’s francophone population is growing, so additional space at Purvis Hall will make it possible for ACND to continue growing in step with its vibrant school community and offer more services and activities to students and families in and around Kemptville.

Purvis Hall will provide elementary students with a wonderfully inspiring learning environment. The CECCE will soon be configuring the hall to meet its needs while preserving its unique architectural character and historical appearance, thereby bringing the board’s total number of buildings on campus to three.

The new premises will also be used to:

  • offer language classes to residents of North Grenville;
  • create an agricultural entrepreneurship centre that will give the ACND school community access to the hall outside of school hours for activities such as selling honey from the beehives that were set up on campus in June 2021;
  • provide space for local community organizations and groups; and
  • develop various activities and initiatives that highlight the history, natural environment and biodiversity of the land on which the campus is located.


The Kemptville Campus Education and Community Centre is a multi-purpose educational facility serving the community of North Grenville and surrounding area since 1919. Purvis Hall has been a centre for innovation for over 100 years in a rural milieu steeped in history. The unique 6,899 sq. ft. building offers a charming brick and wood interior and access to vast green spaces, making it an ideal location for organizations involved in education and training, such as the CECCE.

On signing the lease, Karen Cooper, Board Chair for the Kemptville Campus, said, “This contract represents a major milestone for the Campus’s partnership with the CECCE. Last year, we contracted a third party to run the public tendering process to ensure transparency and fairness. We were delighted to see the CECCE’s vision for transforming Purvis Hall, especially the board’s commitment to making it available to the community outside of school hours. We are excited to be working with the CECCE and look forward to future collaborations.”

Kemptville Campus Executive Director Liz Sutherland added, “Purvis Hall is a century-old historic gem that has fulfilled many different educational missions over the years. The CECCE’s proposal to expand its educational services on campus by leasing Purvis Hall marks the beginning of a wonderful era of optimizing education and training on our magnificent campus. We are eager to deepen our partnership with the school board.”

“The CECCE is proud of this agreement with the Kemptville Campus Education and Community Centre to lease Purvis Hall. Many community members participated in public consultations to express their ideas about potential uses for buildings on campus, and I am sure they will be very happy with this arrangement,” said CECCE Chair Johanne Lacombe.

Trustee Diane Burns said, “The CECCE heard from residents who want Purvis Hall to be used in a way that respects its historic purpose. They also want it to be available to community associations and groups outside of school hours. We are focused on achieving both of those objectives.”

For his part, Director of Education Marc Bertrand said, “This agreement will augment the Académie catholique Notre-Dame’s ability to deliver on its educational mission to provide quality instruction in French and to do so in a truly inspiring environment. I am also very pleased that the ACND will have opportunities to develop initiatives showcasing the locale’s history and natural environment, which will help make the campus a destination of choice. Given the campus’s agricultural vocation and the importance of economic development, the administration is excited about the idea of setting up an agricultural entrepreneurship centre. This project will enrich the preconcentration and concentration in Human and Planetary Health, which focus on climate change, as well as the Environment Specialist High Skills Major, both of which are well established at ACND.”

 The CECCE is a leader recognized for transforming the learning experience, for the excellence and caring approach of its Catholic schools, and for its synergy with the community. With over 25,500 students attending its 45 elementary schools and 13 high schools, as well as its Virtual Learning Academy and school for adults, the CECCE is the largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside Quebec.

Information CECCE
Michèle Josée Arsenault
Communications advisor, CECCE

Information Campus
Liz Sutherland
Executive Director, Campus
613-258-8336 ext. 243

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