The Sudbury Catholic School Board says its new school in the Donovan neighbourhood will commune with nature instead of paving over it.

On Monday night, the city's planning committee approved the building of a new St. David's School on bush land off Frood Road, where some of the first trees in the world-famous re-greening of Sudbury were planted.

School board architect Amber Salach said that history will become part of the school's identity.

"[We’ll be] using the school and the site as … a teaching model and a tool for the students to learn about sustainability to really talk about our northern landscape," Salach said.

The city still owns many acres surrounding the Donovan school site and there have been suggestions it be made into a park celebrating Sudbury's re-greening.

'Positive' exchange

Four pieces of land and some taxpayer cash are also exchanging hands in a trade between the city and the board.

In addition to the land off Frood Road in the Donovan, the city will receive three new pieces of parkland. They include Mickey Mouse Hill in Copper Cliff, as well as the closed Corpus Christi School in the south end, and a piece of the old St. Michael school property.

"They wanted land and we needed land. So it was all positive for both sides," said Catholic board spokesperson Denis Faucher.

The school board had also coveted a piece of city parkland in New Sudbury.

But after residents spoke out earlier this year, the board reworked its blueprints for a new elementary school in the area.