September has arrived, and although it’s still summer for a few weeks, the month still strongly signals autumn. Add to that the arrival of cooler weather and annual stationary shopping, it’s clear back-to-school has arrived.
However, for the staff and students of Promontory Heights Elementary School, the new school year comes with an added layer of excitement as their new two-storey expansion project is complete and ready for the first day of school.
A goal since at least 2015, the elementary school’s new addition not increases the institution’s physical size, it also adds value to the kids’ learning experience.
“Really, it’s all about the success of the students,” said Evelyn Novak, Superintendent of Schools for the Chilliwack School District.
The addition features eight new classrooms—four for grade one, three for grade five, and one for grade four—a mini-gym, a creative maker place for project-based learning activities used by teachers during class, more storage, more bathrooms, and more space for more kids.
“We’re excited about the addition at Promontory Elementary because of the … design of the spaces,” continued Novak.
“There’s lots of natural lighting being brought into the school, it doesn’t look like the typical addition that we might all have expected it to be.”
Breaking ground at the end of the 2016/17 school year, the addition helps ensure Promontory Elementary is ready to welcome its more than 600 Kindergarten to grade five students the day after Labour Day.
When it first opened its doors, Promontory Heights housed about 300 students, but as Chilliwack has grown, so too does has its student body: in recent years, the school district has seen a one per cent increase in student enrollment.
“We were no longer properly equipped to provide (applied design, skills and technology) learning,” said Taryn Dixon, the principal of Promontory Heights elementary school.
But now, after the completion of the $6.1 million dollar project, the school is ready to start off the new year in style.
“We’re looking forward to having lots of room and lots of spaces for prime learning opportunities,” continued Dixon. We now have more opportunities for “students to explore, build, create, and continue to learn.”