By Stan Ashbee
Westwind Weekly News
Both the Magrath high school and elementary school have been under renovations, upgrades and modernization for close to five years. This past Tuesday, Magrath School held its Grand Opening for residents and stakeholders with a dinner, tours, and an official ceremony to celebrate the school’s move forward with performances by the school band and the elementary school choir.
“Everything is done, except for a few minor deficiencies we are working on,” said Magrath Elementary School Principal Brad Sabey. The school is part of the Westwind School Division.
For the elementary school, Sabey explained, the updates and renovations have allowed the school to move into more of a modern 21st Century school with additions including moveable walls between classrooms, breakout rooms, and an indoor playground. “A lot of stuff that really allows us to extend the walls of learning outside of our normal classrooms.”
Sabey noted, so far, everybody that has been through the elementary school has been thrilled with what has been going on. “My teacher, at the start, were happy they were going to get heat and air conditioning and water in their classrooms. The extras they’ve got, they’re very excited about,” he said.
According to Sabey, the modernization was completed in two stages — Phase 1 was more the elementary end. “That was mostly completed last June. Then it moved into Phase 2 at the high school end.”
For the most part, Magrath High School Principal Rob Doig said, all of the major work is done on the high school side.
“It’s been great. As we begin to start using some of the different spaces we have — the gathering area is a hub of activity during the day, as well as in the evenings when we have different bands, choir, elementary concerts, and athletic events. There’s a lot of space, a lot of activity, and a lot of places for people to be. Everyone seems to be really excited about it,” said Doig.
When we look at school from where it was to what it’s become, Sabey added, and talking to teachers, students and the community — “Some of the highlights are the improvements that were done in the gym with the moveable wall into the big gathering space, the blackbox theatre is phenomenal, it’s a real boom for the community to have something like that, the innovation building the town has contributed money to build so we can have students in there, and then the library — having the community library right inside the school what it’s done is turn the Magrath School into a community centre,” Sabey noted.
As for the town library’s move to the school, Sabey said, there’s the transition that is still taking place. “As we’re trying to figure out how everything’s coming together. We’re still waiting for just a little bit of furniture to arrive,” he said.
Between the high school and elementary school there are just under 900 students enrolled. The elementary school is home to Preschool to Grade 6 students and the high school is home to Grade 7-12 students.