Hillmond Central School gym opens


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January 27, 2015 9:00 AM

Staff, students and dignitaries were on hand for the official grand opening of the new Hillmond Central School gymnasium on Friday. The multi-million dol - lar facility now has change rooms, a stage, bleachers and a weight room. - Christopher W. Brown

“Awesome,” “great,” “much better than the old one,” were some of the reactions students at Hillmond Central School (HCS) used to describe their new gymnasium.

Friday afternoon students, staff, parents and dignitaries from the Northwest School Division (NWSD) public school board unveiled the new gymnasium.

Colin Covey, principal of HCS, said that the new gymnasium means a lot to staff and students at Hillmond.

“The new gym means a lot to the students and the school,” the principal said. “When we were in the old gym, students didn’t want to come and play inside, they didn’t want to use it.”

Covey said that the conditions weren’t the greatest in the old facility.

“After seeing what they have done with this new facility, it has been a great improvement to morale at the school,” he said.

Covey said that students who have travelled for sporting competitions have enjoyed the new facility as well, and some are even jealous.

“It’s been a hit for the community, and it’s great to have a facility that matches what we have it here,” he said.

The Lloydminster Source spoke with students of Shawn Dalrymple’s Grade 5 class and asked them about the new facility, and how it compares to the old one.

Darrin Foley, said that the new facility is pretty good. “It’s fun,” he said. “The new gymnasium is a lot bigger than the old one, and you can fit two basketball games in it.”

Liam Rosin was happy to have the new facility. “It has bleachers,” he said. Classmate Allison Binsfeld was pleased about the new facility. “It’s bigger and has a new stage,” she said.

Kieran Dixon, also in Grade 5, said that she really likes the new gymnasium. “We have new change rooms and the gym teacher has his own office now.”

Trinity Keebaugh was really excited about the new gym, saying that it was going to be fun to play games in it, “It is an awesome new gym.”

Hillary Hunter said that the new facility was a big improvement to the school, “It’s a nicer facility compared to the old one.”

Kayla Lundquist said the new facility makes her want to actually play games, and run around, not like the previous one.

“It makes me want to run a lot more,” she said. “The floors are great now. The old gym floors literally had bumps and holes in it, which made playing a lot harder.”

Colleen Young, MLA for Lloydminster, said that it was great to have the new facility open, and the facility would benefit not only the students and staff, but also the community.

“It’s great to be here to welcome the students and staff to the new facility,” she said. “The community and students couldn’t enjoy the old facility to the full extent, so this is a huge improvement.”

NWSD director of education Duane Hauk was pleased with the grand opening of the new facility, saying it is a great addition to the HCS.

“The old gym was approximately half the size of the new gym,” he said. “We ran into some problems with the old floor, because of water damage.”

Hauk said that the school division is extremely proud of the new facility.

From start to completion, Hauk said that the process to have the grand opening for the new facility took approximately five years to complete.

“That is through the entire tendering process,” he said.

With only 180 students currently enrolled at Hillmond Central School, Hauk said even with the blip of declining enrolment in the last few years, there are no plans to close the facility.

“The school has had a steady enrolment and increased a little bit,” he said. “We did have a little blip in decrease of enrolment, but if we look at projections we see them being steady, if not increasing over the next couple of years.”

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