Students at Diamond Jenness Secondary School will be undergoing some changes next year as long-awaited renovations take place at the school.
“It is extremely extensive,” said principal Paul Theriault. “It is affecting the entire school.”
The work is already underway with the construction of the new trades building, and is to be finished by the Victoria Day weekend.
Once that is completed, the remodeling of the school will begin.
“The [entire] project is expected to be a two-year process with a lot of shuffling,” said Theriault.
The project will cost approximately $36 million as the entire school, inside and out will be redone.
When the school was built in 1971 it was ahead of its time, but now DJSS must be brought into the 21st century said Theriault.
“The currently plan is to keep it purple,” he said. “But that depends on availability.”
The current grade six wing of Princess Alexandra will be turned into a off-campus extension of DJSS, housing the grade eight and nine homerooms for the upcoming school year. The students will continue to follow the DJSS curricula and rules and be taught by DJ teachers.
Geoff Buerger, principal at PA, is positive that no real impact will be had on his students.
“We are just making space really,” he said. “The only change is that we will never go down there.”
There will be some adjustment according to Buerger, as PA has some different rules than DJ, such as not wearing your outdoor shoes inside the school. There will also be slight adjustments made to lunch and washroom breaks, to accommodate for the larger amount of students occupying the building.
The DJ students will have their core classes in the sixth grade wing, situated closest to the high school, and will travel over for courses such as physical education, trades and cooking.
Since the DJ students will be occupying a wing of the middle school, next year’s grade four class, which should be moving over to PA, will remain in Harry Camsell Elementary School for one extra year.
This stage of the renovations is to be completed within one school year, with enough classroom space available for all students to return to their respective schools for the 2011-12 school year.
No one from Harry Camsell was available to comment.