© Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
The G.C. Rowe Junior High sign is replaced by a Corner Brook Intermediate one as junior high students prepare to go back to school.
The physical structure and typical design of the former G.C. Rowe remains the same, but the temporary location for Corner Brook Intermediate has its own identity, says George Keeping.
Keeping, the Corner Brook region’s assistant director of education, said nearly every aspect of G.C. Rowe had some renovation to prepare for the amalgamation of all intermediate students.
Classrooms at the junior high have been restructured and/or refurbished to accommodate the increase to about 695 students, and that came with significant information technology (IT) work. The parking lot has been re-designed to account for additional requirements.
The school district is waiting on a decision from the City of Corner Brook with respect to a request to make the road to the school one-way to help with traffic flow.
School colours and identification have also been changed to reflect the new school. The former Regina High School, the future junior high, is still undergoing renovations and could not be completed in time to begin this school year.
There is a one-day delay to start the year at Corner Brook Intermediate, with students arriving Thursday. All other schools in the western region will begin Wednesday.
The delay has nothing to do with work that was done to prepare G.C. Rowe, said Keeping, just additional time for teachers and staff to set up classrooms and facilities.
Keeping said the school is ready for the students arrival.
“I am comfortable with where things are,” he said.
There is a Grade 7 orientation schedule for Tuesday, and the community has gotten involved in the return with a welcome-back barbecue planned for Thursday.
Meanwhile, work is continuing to get the future school ready for opening. The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District will still not provide an estimated date for the move to that facility.
A new access road around the school, new parking areas and sidewalks have been completed. There is currently work ongoing to address issues with fire retardant material onsite, but no further detail of what this entailed was provided as of deadline.
The exterior — new windows and facade — is near completion, including the new gymnasium section. Inside the gym, walls and ceilings are finished and the hardwood floor is being installed.
On the interior, lighting, flooring and ceiling are completed on the upper level, and is ongoing on the main floor and basement. New electrical and data systems, along with the mechanical ventilation system, are in the early stages but are progressing.
The Western Star had requested an interview on the update of the future school, but an email statement was provided instead.