Students at Sacred Heart Community School gave a big cheer when they saw the sign showing what their new school will look like in two years.
A ground-breaking ceremony for the new school took place Friday morning. Grade 8 Courtney Standingready was chosen to be part of it. She says they really need a new school because the old one is worn down.
“I hope it’s going to be a lot bigger for the new students and that it’s going to have more programs,” she said. “An arts ed room with an art teacher and music room and a bigger gym because the old one is worn down.”
The school will be bigger with space for 650 students, compared to the current school population of 450. There will also be a new 50-space daycare in the building. The division has identified the need for more space due to the growing population in the neighbourhood.
Standingready says it was cool to be part of the ceremony, but it’s also kind of sad because she will move on to high school after this year and she won’t get to go to the new school when it opens.
“I think it’s going to be pretty awesome,” said Shaleen Caldwell, who also helped break ground on the school.
She says it was amazing to help with the ceremony because it gave her a chance to be part of the new school – she will also be in high school when it opens. There is one room that will be very important in the new building.
“The library, because we have such a small library and I think this library is going to be pretty awesome,” Caldwell said.
David Magnusson is the principal at the school and he says the library is going to be state of the art with lots of space and natural light. He noted that reading is very important to all the students because the school has put a big emphasis on literacy. They even host regular literacy nights with parents and family members coming in to read with the kids.
A few years ago the gym at Sacred Heart was condemned. The division paid to renovate the building, but the current space is only temporary.
“We’re certainly looking forward to having a brand-new gym and being able to host tournaments and bring the community in, as well as use it for community events on the evenings and weekends,” Magnusson said. “It’s just going to open up a lot of doors for the entire community.”
Since construction will come within three feet of the current building, Magnusson admits there will be challenges for the next two years before the school opens in 2017.
“We’ve lost our playground for now, but we’ve made adaptations and we’ve made things work for our students,” Magnusson said. “So it won’t come without challenges, but I think if you were to talk to any of the students or staff, those challenges are welcome. We just keep our eyes on the prize which is our new school.”
The principal says right now they have a modified schedule with recreation and free time indoors first thing in the morning in place of recess.