The official opening was held for a school in Saskatoon on Thursday that offers much more than a typical school.

The new name, St. Mary’s Wellness and Education Centre is supposed to reflect the new reality.

It has a daycare, optometry clinic, and an expanded pediatric clinic for kids – the first of its kind in Canada.

It also offers counselling on nutrition, a fully equipped gym and walking track, and a specially ventilated room for cultural activities.

“A sense of community is very important,” Education Minister Russ Marchuk told those gathered. “This facility is just that.”

The idea is that the school will contribute to the health and wellness of the entire community, and not just students.

And it will fill some of the gaps in care experienced by some of the students.

“It’s about giving them hope and opportunity that they can succeed,” said Mayor Don Atchison.

The school cost about 19 million dollars. Besides the provincial government, corporate sponsors and local citizens helped make it a reality.

The school has been the centrepiece of a neighborhood rejuvenation project. Affordable housing has been built, and a new park is on the way.

The original century old St. Mary School was torn down last summer.