Saint-Louis School or School # 1
In 1866, on the Catholic side, there was a boys' school in the village called the Saint-Louis School and a girls' school at the Ste-Anne Convent.
At that time, the parish priest was strongly supported by the bishop of the diocese to open schools in order to educate young French Canadians in their language and in the Catholic faith rather than continuing to attend Protestant schools.
Father Étienne Champagneur, founder of the Clerics of Saint-Viateur (CSV) in Canada, came to Rawdon in 1866 to lead the young Brother Aimé Champoux. The latter became the first teacher at the Saint-Louis School, also called School # 1, opened for boys with instruction in English. 55 students were enrolled. From 1866 to 1878, in addition to rendering various services to the parish, Father Étienne Champagneur ran a small boarding school on his own, on a small space in the grounds that are now in front of the main entrance of Champagneur College.
After his departure in 1878, the school remained closed until 1896 and was moved to Albert Street where the house of Mr. Claude Dupuis is now located. In 1927, the old school, which had become dilapidated, was sold and the boys attended classes in various houses in the village.
Saint-Louis School in 1934
A new red brick school was built on the same lot in 1934. The boys then moved into a modern 2-story building with 6 classrooms under the guidance of the Clerics of Saint-Viateur who returned for the next 25 years.
In 1954, a fire completely destroyed the school.
Saint-Louis School in 1955
The fire forced the Commissioners to find temporary classrooms and to embark on the construction of a new 8-classroom school with housing for the CSV's on land purchased from the Fabrique at the corner of Albert Street and 6th Avenue. The boys had been relocated to the parish hall, to Bernadette Morin's house, and to a large classroom of Sainte-Anne's school. In January 1955, the boys were reunited in a new, larger and more modern school. The cost of the construction was $120,000.
A few years later, the school was enlarged to accommodate the increasing number of students. In 1959, lay teachers were hired to teach in the school. During all these years of rapid increase in school enrolment, the school board was obliged to rent temporary classrooms in houses to name only Miss Lévesque, Mrs. Larochelle, Marcel Robert, Bernadette Morin, Mrs. Georgette Labrèche, Mrs. Duval, Jean Pontbriand's house on Albert, Martial Forest at the municipal beach, etc.
For a long time, the Saint-Louis school was a boys-only school just as the Sainte-Anne school was a girls-only school, except for the English class at Sainte-Anne school which was mixed. In the 1960's, the two schools became co-educational, depending on the capacity of the two schools to accommodate each other. In 1976, the school became part of the new Polyvalent, which was built in 1976 and also welcomed students from secondary 8.
In 1977, controversial and difficult negotiations between the two school boards (Catholic and Protestant) finally resulted in an agreement and the students from the growing Protestant school on Metcalfe Street were transferred to the Catholic school. It was soon discovered that Saint-Louis did not meet the requirements of the English school board, leading to the decision to move the students back to their Protestant school, which had temporary classrooms added to the main structure.
St Louis Pavilion (2019)
In 2019, a new ultra-modern school with a main entrance on 7th Avenue was built at a cost of $17.9 million to accommodate grades 3 to 6 and 3 alternative classes. In 2022, 450 boys and girls were expected to attend the Saint-Louis Pavilion.
The old Saint-Louis School, located at the intersection of Albert Street and 6th Avenue, was demolished in 2020 to make way for playgrounds and parking for the new school.