By David F. Rooney
There are rumours swirly around town that Revelstoke’s newest school, Begbie View Elementary, won’t be ready for the first day of the new school year — Thursday, September 6.
Please allow me to put those rumours to rest through this visual tour of the new facility, which was laid on for the media by Superintendent Anne Cooper on Thursday.
“I am over the moon about this,” she said. And it was not hard to see why.
There’s still a lot of work to be done before the school will be ready but from a practical point of view most of it involves unpacking, sorting and arranging things like desks, chairs, books, school supplies and other items. However, the attention to detail is fantastic and the teachers and their students will no doubt really, really enjoy their new environment.
The structure incorporates a lot of local wood (just like the new RSS), high-grade technology, great spaces for kids and adults to kick back a bit when they’re not busy in class, a superb gymnastics facility for the Revelstoke Acrobats and an amazing Neighbourhood of Learning hub.
This will, no doubt, reassure all of those moms and kids who have watched the building’s progression from start to finish.
“The kids call it the Big Yellow School,” said the Child Care Society’s Linda Chell. “A lot of moms have been walking their kids past the school on a regular basis and are eager to see it finished.”
But why spend time reading a lot of words when you can see for yourself? Please scroll down to take our photographic tour of the Begbie View Elementary:
Construction and landscape workers, teachers, custodial staff and others are working hard to ensure that School District 19’s new Begbie View Elementary School will be open for business on the first day of school, which is September 6. David F. Rooney photo School secretary Judy McAllister sips her coffee as she talks with a worker in the school office by the main entrance. David F. Rooney photo Here’s an innovation that will be adopted at all schools in the district — a water fountain that also has a water-bottle filling station. David F. Rooney photo SD 10 Superintendent Anne Cooper is justifiably excited about the new school. You’ll be able to see why in the next 50-odd photos. David F. Rooney photo The Revelstoke Acrobats equipment occupies a fair swath of the gleaming floor space in the new BVE gymnasium. David F. Rooney photo This is the stage in the gymnasium. Faced with smaller future school populations there was no need for one of the mega-stages common to older schools. David F. Rooney photo But this new stage has an advantage the older ones don’t: an entrance to the stage from a main hall. This allows kids to wait off-stage and then walk on for their performances without having to do so in front of a large audience. David F. Rooney photo This isn’t a hallway. Nope it’s the 106-foot runway to the foam pit in the Acrobats gymnastic facility. David F. Rooney photo Cooper talks with Acrobats’ Coaches Heather Cretelli and Jef Kline about the overhead viewing area for parents and guests at performances and practices by the Revelstoke Acrobats. David F. Rooney photo Heather and Jef as seen from the observation deck. The foam pit is on the left and the trampolines will be installed on the left. Unlike the relatively low ceiling at the gymnasts’ current facility, this one has a nine-metre ceiling which will allow the Acrobats to really fulfill their aerial potential on the tramps. David F. Rooney photo This one of the mechanical rooms at the new school. Unlike what you’d expect all of the mechanical rooms are on the second floor — not the ground floor. “The ground floor is prime,” Cooper said as she guided me and Alex Cooper of the Times Review around the facility. “The pre-school, Kindergarten and primary classes are on the ground floor so that the really young kids have ready access to the outdoor play areas and the new Neighbourhood of Learning. David F. Rooney photo The school, of course, is wired for all the modern technology you can imagine. The school has wi-fi as well as Ethernet connections in all classrooms, a truly superior sound system that wowed every teacher we talked with and a PowerPoint projectors in every class. David F. Rooney photo Grade 3/4 teacher Kim Floyd was impressed with the attention to detail in her classroom as well as all of the new desks and chairs. David F. Rooney photo As at RSS, BVE boasts vaulting made form local cedar harvested in the Akolkolex Valley and milled at Downie and Selkirk. Cooper said Selkirk had to purchase new tools and other equipment to work with this timber. The entire new schools project — about $58 million total — has been a boon for local craftsmen and businesses. David F. Rooney photo Light streams through the windows built into the gallery. David F. Rooney photo Grade 5/6 teacher Sarah Newton is getting all her ducks in a row for the new school year. David F. Rooney photo What’s this? A view down one of the air shafts on the second floor. David F. Rooney photo Anne Cooper peers at the overhead PowerPoint projector on the ceiling of Laurie Henshaw’s classroom. Every classroom in the new school has a projector. Cooper said eventually all classrooms in the district will have projectors, although those in Arrow Heights and Columbia Park won’t be permanently wired like this one as the cost of rewiring those schools is prohibitive. David F. Rooney photo The playing fields still need turf because the rain in June prevented workers from preparing them at that time. But look! students will be able to enjoy outdoor lunches at tables like the four down below. David F. Rooney photo Storage space is important to teachers and every classroom has storage spaces like these. David F. Rooney photo The classrooms also have wet spaces, too, such as this one being worked on by a plumber. David F. Rooney photo New Grade 7 teacher Jenna Bauche poses for a picture in her classroom. Jenna came here from Edmonton and worked last year as a Teacher on Call. David F. Rooney photo Benches will be set up at strategic spots such as this window. David F. Rooney photo Landscape workers were busy planting low-maintenance ferns and other plants around the exterior. David F. Rooney photo These are the in- and out-pipes for the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation’s District Energy System. David F. Rooney photo Andrea Rollheiser was getting the hang of things in her new 2/3 class. David F. Rooney photo Should the kids have their desks in rows? How about a circle or a square? New Grade 2 teacher Naomi Ford was trying out different desk arrangements. David F. Rooney photo Grade 1 teacher Colleen Wall has her work cut out for her. David F. Rooney photo Education Assistant Celes Lucius worked with Pam Mair and Rory Luxmore to whip the Student Services Centre into shape on Thursday. David F. Rooney photo Boxes, boxes, boxes. Those that weren’t empty like these, were full and there were a LOT of them at the Student Services Centre. David F. Rooney photo BVE Principal Shan Jorgenson-Adam (second from the left) and District Vice-Principal Earl Woodhurst (center, wearing a white helmet) talk with technical experts in the computer lab as Anne Cooper and Times Review reporter Alex Cooper look on. The district received new computers intended for this school last September and the machines — all iMacs — will be moved in over the next few days. David F. Rooney photo The library space is, for now, a virtual literary void. But shelves, books and other materials are on their way. David F. Rooney photo Kindergarten teachers Sonia Gagne-Maitre (left) and Linda Dickson got a helping hand from District Principal Jane Morris. David F. Rooney photo Secretary Judy McAllister talks on the phone as Anne cooper leads the way to Shan Jorgenson-Adam’s office. David F. Rooney photo Shan’s office was — with the notable exception of her book case — pretty barren. David F. Rooney photo The new school also received a brand-new photocopier. The big question is this: will it be easier to use than others? David F. Rooney photo Oh joy! A lovely little staff room for BVE. David F. Rooney photo Speech therapist Vivian Binnington is very pleased with her new office and the suite of labs she and Carolyn Duncan will in use their work with local students. Speech & Language Therapist The boys and girls bathrooms are colourful! David F. Rooney photo The boys and girls bathrooms are colourful! David F. Rooney photo The children’s urinals and toilets throughout the school come in age-appropriate sizes, from teeny-tiny ones for toddlers to adult ones for older children. David F. Rooney photo This is the elevator that connects the two floors for kids who cannot negotiate the stairs. Or, people transporting items that are too large to carry up the stairs. David F. Rooney photo Every child will have his or her cubby and personal storage space. David F. Rooney photo Kindergarten teacher Linda Dickson poses for Alex Cooper. David F. Rooney photo Kindergarten teacher Sonia Gagne-Maitre had lot of kids’ stuff to sort and store. David F. Rooney photo Linda Chell, the Chid Care Society’s Executive Director, is really REALLY excited about the new Neighbourhood of Learning at BVE. Here she poses with Amanda Mathis (left) and Kirei Thompson (right). David F. Rooney photo This eave over the playground door just looked like a cool and colourful image. David F. Rooney photo The pre-school toddlers have cribs for their afternoon naps, older kids have cots. David F. Rooney photo All of the cupboards that curious young kids might try to open are secured with a magnetic Tot Lok, David F. Rooney photo Amanda Mathis does the Vanna thing with the fridge and dishwasher in the kitchen area. The commercial-grade dishwasher will process a full load in 90 seconds. There are also washers and driers to clean and dry linens and, if necessary, the clothing of kids who have had ‘accidents.’ David F. Rooney photo This is one of the outdoor play areas. That cement pad is for cycling. There is also space for a playground and small stand of natural trees and bushes for imaginative outdoor play. David F. Rooney photo A pre-school class room awaits adult attention. David F. Rooney photo Linda Chell peers through the — For now! — empty shelves of the Toy Lending Library. David F. Rooney photo Linda is proud and excited to finally have her own office after years of sharing office space with other people. You need some books on those shelves, Linda! David F. Rooney photo Welcome to Leap Land where kids and play to their heart’s content. See that blue floor? That’s poured rubber so little Tommy or Sally won’t hurt themselves if they fall down. David F. Rooney photo There are lots and lots of windows, most of which open, throughout the school. I particularly liked Leap land’s quirky window design. And that, folks, is the end of this photographic tour of Begbie View Elementary School, which opens for business on September 6. David F. Rooney photo