With the last load of boxes moved, Grief Point Elementary School staff and teachers have completed their transition to the brand new Westview Elementary School.
“As a principal, I’m used to working into the summer,” said principal Jamie Burt, who has been enjoying wearing his shorts and Crocs on the job. “It’s been a lot like moving into a new house.”
As teachers return from summer vacation this month, they will find themselves unpacking boxes and trying to figure out how the new space works, he said.
Approximately 20 per cent of office furniture was moved from Grief Point to the new school. Burt said that because the building had been in the works for quite a number of years, they anticipated buying new furniture for the facility.
“We brought over things that were in decent shape,” he added. “The Christian School also said they would be interested in using equipment that we weren’t bringing.”
Student desks, chairs and some office furniture was left for the new occupants.
Karl Kruse, Powell River Christian School principal, said he and the school’s teachers were eager to move into their new location. While they may consider some renovations in the future, Kruse said their immediate concern was to freshen up the school with some paint.
For Burt, the size of Westview school will take some getting used to. The school has two floors and includes 12 classrooms, each equipped with projectors, for grades one through seven, together with two kindergarten classrooms with attached washrooms.
“Probably the biggest challenge for me is that I am used to having my office in the middle of the action,” said Burt, who plans on setting up a principal’s “station” in the classroom block while classes are in.
Additionally, the school has two play-based rooms for use by community early learning programs, a special fenced play area for the youngest students and two multi-purpose rooms for arts and music.
“What we’re hoping for is that the school is not only for our kids, but also a district hub for sports and music,” said Burt. The gymnasium, which is almost the same size as Brooks Secondary School’s, has a curtain divider that can be lowered to double the number of classes able to use the facility at one time.
Outside there is a full-sized playing field, together with ball hockey and basketball courts and a paved track created for community members to use for morning and evening walks.
When asked about what he thinks is the best part of the school, Burt replied, “Storage. Tons of storage.”
Burt estimates that the enrolment this September at Westview Elementary will be around 320 students.