College Park School will be opening its doors soon.
The school opening was pushed back due to construction delays throughout the fall, but Todd Robinson, director of education for Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) is pleased with the school’s set opening date of Dec. 2.
“We knew in August that we were going to be delayed and we put a plan in place to ensure that students were going to have a quality experience in our schools and that went very well.”
All that’s left to be done is cleaning, a little bit of painting and a few touch-ups. And while Robinson notes that it took a little longer than what was preferred to finish up the construction of the school, with all that College Park has to offer, the wait was worth it.
“I know our public have been extremely patient in waiting for the opening of the school and we’re very excited to welcome them here,” he said. “We’re very happy with the finished product. It’s going to be a tremendous school, but it’s taken us a little longer to get here than we would have liked.”
With an observatory, climbing wall, music rooms and a theatre, kids may not want to leave. The parents and students have now been informed of the school’s opening and Robinson has received positive feedback from them, despite the delays. But parents, said Robinson, have been more than understanding over the course of construction.
“I think folks were maybe anticipating the worst as we were delayed a few times. I think they’re quite eager to get in here before Christmas, have a chance to get used to the building before the break.”
The LPSD received many requests for tours throughout construction, but access to the building was restricted in a bid to make construction go as smoothly and quickly as possible. This means that no parents or students have had the chance to see the interior of the building yet.
“It will be a surprise for all on the second of December,” added Robinson.
As for teachers and staff, Robinson said that they are all eager to finally begin teaching children in the new building.
“... They’re excited to call this home and to make it home. We will have teachers with full access to the building starting on the 21st of November,” said Robinson. “So there will be in advance a chance to set up their classrooms and make that transition as seamless as possible.”
About 550 students will call that building home, too, with around 35 teachers, eight educational assistants and many support staff. And students will have the opportunity to attend the school from pre-kindergarten up to the end of Grade 9.
David McLennan, the principal of the new school, is looking forward to making the shift into College Park as well.
“Words cannot express how excited I am to move into the new building. It’s been a really interesting two or three months,” said McLennan. I can’t say enough about the work that the other schools have done to accommodate our students, that the LPSD staff have done to make this possible before Christmas.”
“I just can’t say enough about the commitment of our staff and the understanding of our parents in our community,” added Robinson. “This has been an absolute team effort. And I’m really proud of the folks that call the LPSD home.”
The school has also partnered with Odyssey Community Childcare, to provide childcare right out of the school building – a partnership that came at no cost to Odyssey. The school comes in at just under 7,000 square metres in size and cost $23 million to complete.
“A number of years ago, we decided in Lloyd Public that we would need a school that would take some of the pressures off our K to 6 schools and our middle year schools,” said McLennan.
With the opening of College Park School, overcrowding is over and a comfortable amount of children and staff have been distributed across all LPSD schools.
Before opening, students will be treated to a long weekend, as Friday, Nov. 28 and Monday, Dec. 1 the school will be closed to allow for a smoother transition.