With the first round of occupation planned for Jan. 31 and the ribbon cutting slated for Feb. 10, LCSD officials are getting ready to open the new two-storey wing at Holy Rosary High School.
The shovel hit the ground at the end of June 2021 for the $10 million build which houses 16 classes, a kinesiology lab, innovation centre, art space and room for growing the school population to over 1000 students by this fall.
Director of education with the Lloydminster Catholic School Division Nigel McCarthy says the innovation centre has 30 computers and the high school has students that are capable of earning scholarships from Electronic sports.
“It’s going to host our video game design programming, as well as video editing and a new E- sports
team which will be competing this spring – starting in February. So we are very excited about the new opportunities that will be brought to students, not only for career development, but also for hopefully national and some international competition.”
Apart from the organized competitive video gaming opportunities, McCarthy says “students have a lot of insight into the career paths of the future.”
“When you talk to students as young as 11 or 12 years of age, they understand that the career paths that are available to them – their horizon of possibility, includes everything from Silicon Valley to New York to working here in Lloydminster. And sometimes, that working in Lloydminster can reach into those places without ever having to leave your home.”
He says that development shows that “our kids really understand what the future is and we are building spaces to ensure that we accommodate those future possibilities.”
The classrooms have video monitors on the walls, couch seating along with tables designed for collaborative learning and allows for the teacher to control the monitors from a tablet and for the students to also take control from their devices.
McCarthy praised school leadership whom he said actively sought student input in the design of the expansion adding that with the layout “students can take control of the technology and work in groups. The basic design of the classroom teaches people how to cooperate in the pursuit of a common goal and allows them to compete in groups and to see the accomplishments of others in real time.”
The arts and sciences spaces are in close proximity. McCarthy says students submitted over 50 drawings with their recommendations. He adds the students wanted the art space to have natural lighting and the ability to do pottery, air-brush and oil painting simultaneously. As well the entire second level with barn doors for the art room will function as display spaces.
The design of the kinesiology lab with its athletics flooring allows for TRX training as well as a biology lab and Mccarthy sees it as supporting the health sciences and careers like medicine, physiotherapy and body dynamics and mechanics. Those aspects are to be built upon in the next phase of the expansion, says McCarthy.
Another important aspect is the truth and reconciliation room in which a tree was brought in last fall.
Aboriginal program coordinator Cynthia Young says students are excited to get this new space as she explains the cultural significance.
“Any cultural housing unit – any cultural shelter has something in the middle. So it’s Miss Okimoiatyak – the Tree. We harvested it in early October. We weathered it and it’s just been cut to fit the space. So it’s in there now and it looks phenomenal.”
McCarthy concludes by adding that the two-storey addition is built like a Venetian square and they have included a theatre space at the centre to accommodate about 100-200 people on both levels to see a film or livestream a conference call.