Inside the new RSS: amazing spaces

By David F. Rooney

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:

The entrance to the construction site for the new high school. Think of this as the gateway to the future of education in Revelstoke. David F. Rooney photo
Members of the tour cross to the site of the shop area. Steel-toed boots, safety glasses, hard hats and safety vests were the mandatory fashion statement on the site. David F. Rooney photo
Mayor Dave Raven, Superintendent Anne Cooper, District Principal for Technology and Operations Earl Woodhurst, RSS Principal Mike Hooker, Trustees Jeff Nicholson and Doug Hamilton with Pete Ashley and Rourke Waring of Graham Construction. They are standing in one of the spaces that will be occupied by the RSS shop classes. David F. Rooney photo
The fact that an excavator can fit inside this ground floor space gives you some sense of the scale of this new high school facility. David F. Rooney photo
A worker on the site. David F. Rooney photo
One of two construction cranes on the site. David F. Rooney photo
This is the other. David F. Rooney photo
A view of what will be the front of the high school. David F. Rooney photo
There are big machines and piles of earth every where, it seems, but this will be one of the playing fields for the high school. David F. Rooney photo
This will be the second-floor plaza where students and staff can gather. David F. Rooney photo
Graham personnel at work on the site. David F. Rooney photo
A view of the I-beams and metal structure that constitute the skeleton of the new high school. David F. Rooney photo
This is another view of the plaza. The groups is standing right about where Brenda Diebert's desk will be. David F. Rooney photo
The concrete towers in the background are an elevator shaft (left) and a stairwell. They are near the front entrance to the structure. David F. Rooney photo
A worker, one of about 80 on-site, carries a plank from one zone to another. David F. Rooney photo
Superintendent Anne Cooper and RSS Principal Mike Hooker gaze down at the theatre. The portion you see in the foreground is the seating area. It will be graded so that members of the audience are at least one foot higher than the person in front of them. The curved section in the center is the orchestra pit and the gravelled area behind is where the stage will be. David F. Rooney photo
You may not be able to easily visualize it now, but the group is standing in the food-preparation area next to the multi-purpose room/cafeteria on the second floor. David F. Rooney photo
Superintendent Anne Cooper tells the group how pleased she is with progress on the new schools project as Pete Ashley (left) and Rourke Waring listen. For their part, they said they were very happy with the flexibility and understanding demonstrated by School District 19 staff during this complex project. David F. Rooney photo
Anne Cooper, Mayor Dave Raven, Pete Ashley and Earl Woodhurst enjoyed the view — one that students, too, will appreciate. Glass walls and tremendous vistas of Mounts Begbie, Mackenzie and Cartier as well as the Columbia River Valley will be standard fare in the new school. David F. Rooney photo
Workers discuss their labours, oblivious to the tour group that was leaving. David F. Rooney photo