However, despite a $3.3 million renovation to the high school which is currently underway, the board thinks it's going to have to seek additional funding from the province to create more space for the younger students.
The current renovations, which are expected to be complete by August 2014, involve a new administration office, main entrance, cafeteria and five new classrooms.
On the books, the province says the school has enough room for 1,100 students, and there's currently only about 900 attending the school.
But board officials say there's several programs at St. Charles — including its life skills program — which take up more room than regular high school classes do.
It's also important to have a separate area for the Grade 7 and 8 students, Sudbury Catholic board chair Jody Cameron said, speaking to Northern Life after the board's Sept. 17 meeting, where the project was discussed.
The board is in the process of calculating how much money it's going to need to create that space at St. Charles.
“So it's our job to communicate with (the province), and negotiate with them, and tell them the value of these programs and why we don't have the space, and we need additional funding to be able to accommodate the Grade 7 and 8s,” he said.
The recent addition of Grade 7 and 8 students at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School in the South End has been a “great success,” where enrolment in those grades is up 37 students this year, Cameron said.
The board's all-female secondary school, Marymount Academy, also has Grade 7 and 8 students.
“Parents like it, the model's good, enrolment is growing there,” he said. “It's a very segregated unit from the high school, and it's important we maintain that to ensure we're successful. St. Charles is no different.”
Much like at St. Benedict, where a junior kindergarten to Grade 6 elementary school — Holy Cross — was built on the same campus, Sudbury Catholic is building a junior kindergarten to Grade 6 school on St. Charles' campus.
This $15 million school, which at this point the board is referring to as the “East Elementary School,” as it has yet to be named, will be the result of the consolidations of St. Andrew, St. Bernadette and St. Raphael schools.
The Grade 7 and 8 students from St. Raphael would be the ones that would primarily occupy the new wing at St. Charles.
Board officials said it's possible they'd have to keep St. Raphael open for a few years more for the Grade 7 and 8 students, though, if they're unable to garner funding for the project in time.
Construction on the East Elementary School is due to start in July 2014 and be completed in November 2015.
The two-storey, 57,919 square foot building would have a capacity for 550 students, a 67-space daycare, a double gymnasium, library and five full-day kindergarten classrooms.
Sudbury Catholic project co-ordinator Ryan Vis told trustees that green technology is used for every new school building the board puts up.
A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) process is used, but the board doesn't apply for the certification, as it would cost too much, he said.
The East Elementary School isn't the only new school the board will build in the next few years.
After St. David Catholic Elementary School was deemed prohibitive to repair, the board was awarded $7.2 million to build the school community a new home.
Construction on the 200-student junior kindergarten to Grade 6 school is due to begin in June 2014 and be completed in July 2015.
The school is moving from Jean Street in the Donovan to nearby Frood Road, an area that includes trees and even a stream. The natural features will be used as a teaching tool at the school.
Trustee Ray Desjardins asked if this stream will become a safety concern, but a staff member replied the school has been reoriented so the water feature will be at the back of the school, where students will spend less time.
One thing is for sure, Sudbury Catholic staff will be busy over the next few years with these building projects, Cameron said.
“The St. Charles renovations, the new East School, St. David's, those are three major projects in the millions of dollars,” he said.
“So we're a busy group. We did this all within the restructuring of facilities. So my hat's off to (board staff). They've done a great job.”