By Kristen Oelschlagel
Students at Sir John A. Macdonald School now have the latest equipment to help them succeed thanks to a multi-million dollar renovation.
Students, faculty and officials from the school, the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board and Mirtren Contractors Ltd. were all on hand for the grand opening and re-dedication ceremonies. The $3.8 million from the Ministry of Education went towards a new addition and numerous renovations resulting in a new gymnasium, library, two early learning classrooms and other facilities.
Principal Carol Fisher said the new school will help enhance the students’ learning.
“Students have great classrooms with beautiful windows that let in lots of natural light and we have the latest technology like Smart Boards, iPads, iPods and computer notebooks rather than a computer lab,” said Fisher.
“We also have a great gym with new equipment and a beautiful music room because we’re wanting to promote the arts.”
Brylie Ivey, a Grade 6 student at the school, said she likes the changes at the school.
“I like the new gym the best because it’s bigger. Most of them (her friends) like the gym too because we all like to play sports. We like the wood floor, when you fell on the old floor it really hurt because it was hard cement,” she said.
One of the classes to benefit from the changes, particularly the new classrooms, is Nancy Warren’s combined Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 class.
“It’s really nice to have a brand new facility with built in washrooms for the Kindergartens,” said Warren.
“It’s really nice for them that we have our own Kindergarten area. The students spend time together and we have our own play area outside so they have lots of chance to see each other, socialize with their learning and move back and forth within the classrooms.”
Warren is also pleased with the way the classroom was designed. Everything in the room was made specifically to accommodate Kindergarten students, such as the low sink so they will be able to easily reach it.
The construction started in December 2010 and was ongoing even after the school was re-opened on Sept 27, 2012. Fisher said it was a challenge throughout the construction stage. She said it was made easier by of the support of many in the community and everyone in the school is happy to be there.