"It's an exciting place to be right now. There's a lot of work to do."

That is the assessment of Samuel Jerema, the principal of Ecole Discovery Trails in Morden, as he watches the city's newest school taking shape before his eyes.

 

Samuel Jerema, principal of Ecole Discovery Trails SchoolSamuel Jerema, principal of Ecole Discovery Trails

"The paint is done, the floors are in, the cabinets are in, the sinks are in lot of classrooms already; the acoustic paneling, the classroom lockers, the sprinkler system."

In some classrooms, all that remains to be installed is the ceiling tiles. 

"When you walk into a classroom at that stage, you really can feel what it's going to be like and see how bright and open the space is. The windows throughout are so large you get a sense of the light that's coming in. It's really exciting to see the looks on everyone's faces when they walk into what's going to be their classroom or they walk into what's going to be the gym. They see the common area where we have skylights. There's the canteen, the double overhead door opening up into a multi-purpose room, the library with folding glass doors that open up the space."

 

Teacher Kelly Young inside one of the new classrooms at EDTTeacher Kelly Young inside one of the new classrooms at EDT

Jerema has had discussions with staff about they can best use these exciting spaces, and even taken them through the construction zone to create a buzz for their new workspace.  

"We're starting to cast that vision for what it could be. There's a lot of classrooms that have conference rooms in between them, but there's also classrooms that have partition walls and they can open up."

 

Specialist teacher Natalie Vigier inside the new gym at EDTSpecialist teacher Natalie Vigier inside the new gym at EDT

With the facade completed on most areas of the building, the Western School Division educational structure is quickly becoming a reality.

"On the east wing they're just finishing the space they were using to get the bigger equipment in. We were able to go on the roof and have a peek at the progress on the track. You can see they're packing it already getting ready for asphalt later in July, the rubberized surface even before the end of July. When you go there and circulate around the whole schoolyard you get a really good sense of what it could be."

But Jerema has not lost sight of all that needs doing before the doors open in September.

"We are looking to get our furniture installed in August, probably not until the middle of August. Teachers will be coming in at the end of August to get their classroom set up, so they won't have a ton of time. It's going to be a tight schedule, but it's also helpful getting the teachers in now and they can envision what their role is going to look like as they get ready for kids."  

The new school is located in the Northwest part of the city on Parkhill Drive.

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