Top News

Gander Elementary School opens in record time


GANDER, NL — The activity inside the newly constructed Gander Elementary School is as lively as the bold colour choice of bright green at the entrance. 

Simple modern lines and earth tone colours to complement suggest a continuation of modern outlook within.

Principal Duane Smith said at the official opening on Thursday, “It is state of the art – there is no doubt about that.”

The school incorporates the latest technologies available, from geothermal, green technology to smart boards, iPads, Chromebooks and bright innovative learning environments.

“We have an absolutely wonderful school to facilitate education of our amazing young people,” said Smith.

The relocation of Grade Four to Six students from the old school has relieved a significant pressure in the school space.

Bronson Collins, assistant director of Education said, “The old school had about 1,000 children and that has been reduced to about 450. Huge difference.”

There is unfinished work to complete on the new school.

Collins said, “It is normal procedure for touch up things to be done.”

According to Health and Community Services Minister John Haggie, the school was constructed in record time of 17 months, instead of the normal 24, “and they were under budget — not many times you can say those two words in one sentence.”

As the week draws close to Thanksgiving weekend, Grade Six students Paige Buker and Gracee Briffett, who emceed the event, spoke on the importance of pausing to reflect on the significance of Thanksgiving.

“It is a time when we reflect for all the things we are thankful for,” they noted. “We are very thankful for our amazing brand new school. We have the opportunity to do great and amazing things.”

 

The Beacon asked: "What is your favourite thing at Gander Elementary School?"

Dominic Kennedy, Grade Six (pictured right)

“I like the gym. It is so big, and there are new basketball hoops. I also like the new school because it was boring sitting in the same school over and over again in the last five years. You can also move in the hallways now. Before, you used to be pushed around or beaten into the wall. The lights are weird – you’ve got to feel around to get it right. My teacher gets it right. Sometimes.”

Charlie Canning, Grade Six (pictured left)

“I like the new change, the new environment. Everything about it. The new classrooms. It’s really close to a lot of kids houses. So there is no need to pressure our parents to drive us to school or make it on time for the buses. A lot of kids walk to school now and that’s great.”

Ella Brinson, Grade Six

“I like the new school. It’s really nice, and really big. We have basketball nets in the gym now. It was all torn up in the old school. I’m also happy that we now have a cafeteria.”

Paige Buker, Grade Six (pictured left)

“I love the cafeteria and how big it is, and now you can eat with friends at the same table. It is awesome. There was no cafeteria in the old school and you needed to sit at your own desk and there wasn’t much space. I also like how big the gym is, and we might be getting a basketball team. We are also getting a Gander Elementary mascot. Slips were sent home for our ideas. I like the huge windows. In the old school, the blinds did not work.”

Gracee Briffett, Grade Six (pictured right)

“I like how the lockers are put in the walls, so there is more space in the hallways. I love the cafeteria – all together, it is much better than eating in the classrooms. There is also a big stage, two music rooms and a really big gym. I like it a lot. The classrooms are really efficient for learning. There are two whiteboards, better smartboards and team boards.”

Recent Stories