If you’re like Mayor David Raven you have for months driven past the site of the new schools being built by School District 19 and wondered what it’s really like inside.
Well, His Worship got a sneak peek inside the new high school Wednesday afternoon and was deeply impressed by what he saw.
“This is an amazing facility,” he said, imagining too, that the space could easily be used for a lot more than education. “You could have conferences here.”
The mayor’s enthusiasm is understandable. When you see the construction site from Vernon Avenue you simply can’t grasp the scale of the structure itself. It encompasses a lot of space — enough that an excavator can move inside the ground floor to work. And then there are the views. The south face of the complex looks right down the river valley and students will be able to enjoy those vistas, which are currently denied them in the old RSS building. Much of the south face of the building will be glass so those views will be standard fare for students and staff.
There’s also a plaza for students and staff to congregate and mingle, fantastic spaces for shop classes, a multi-purpose room/cafeteria, offices, the theatre and much, much more.
For Superintendent Anne Cooper it’s like a dream.
“I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be here at this time,” she said. “I look at the old (RSS) building now and it looks so ugly. This is going to be so much better.”
Touring the site on Thursday you get a sense of its promise, a promise that Cooper and members of the board can’t wait to see fulfilled.
“I must commend Graham Construction and the design firm, Dialogue, for the work they have done,” Cooper said before words failed her.
For my part, as a simple journalist, I was deeply impressed by the building and its complexity and am eager to see it in its finished form. That’s still more than a year away.
In the meanwhile where are some photos of the tour conducted of the new high school. so you can visualize the future the way, too: