Almost 270 students poured into the new Floradale Public School Mar. 22 for the grand opening of their new facility – the first assignments have been written at the brand new desks and the first running shoes have squeaked on the new tile floor.
The official sod turning for the new school was held last September, although construction had already been already underway for a few months. This week marked the first time that the school would be in use by the staff and students.
“The project has been underway for just over two years,” explained school Principal Leslie McNabb. “From drawing out the plans to the day we actually moved in has been quite the process.”
The old building, built in 1966, will eventually be torn down to make more room for the new $5.3-million school. Almost $4-million in funding was awarded by the Ministry of Education for the school, which serves students from Floradale, Wallenstein, Yatton, Hawkesville and the surrounding rural areas. The Waterloo Region District School Board contributed $1.3 million to the project.
Included in the new building are environmentally friendly lighting systems that calculate how much natural light is already filling the south-facing classrooms and provides only the necessary amount of additional light. As well, classrooms are equipped with audio equipment that broadcasts the teacher’s voice throughout the room, ensuring that all students can clearly hear their lessons, regardless of where in the classroom they are sitting.
“The kids seem to love it so far,” said McNabb. “It’s so clean and fresh, and it just feels so much bigger.”
Starting next September, the school will be offering full-day, every day kindergarten. It is one of a select number of schools in Waterloo Region, and the only school in Woolwich Township, to offer an expanded kindergarten program in the fall.
An official grand opening for the school is set for May 6 at 7 p.m.