Mine Centre School memories to be shared
The public will have a chance to reminisce and wax nostalgic about Mine Centre School as part of a celebration set for May 26 to mark the closing of the old school and the opening of a new one.
“Basically, it gives people an opportunity to walk through the building one more time to share in the memories,” Mine Centre principal Leslie Barr-Kellar said about the event, which will run from 4-7 p.m.
“It’s had many professionals working there for their careers, as well as many student that have fond memories of their years here, as well.”
This is the last year students and teachers will be in the old Mine Centre School building. A new school currently under construction at the same site is slated to open this fall.
The celebration will include children’s games, school tours, slide show presentations, and a community barbecue.
“Each of our classrooms has ‘SmartBoard’ technology, so we’re going to have a different era for each presentation,” explained Barr-Kellar.
“And basically it’s just going to be a slide show of pictures throughout that era.
“The [classroom] doors will be decorated to symbolize that era so that people will know which era they’re visiting,” she added.
The organizing committee has been working to gather photos for these slide shows, Barr-Kellar said. But if people still have photos they want to submit, they can contact the school at 599-2843.
As well, there will be two guest speakers who will give short speeches.
The first is Brian Love, who was a principal at the school for “a number of years,” noted Barr-Kellar.
The second person to speak will be Ted Menson, currently one of the bus drivers for the school but also one of its first graduates back when it opened.
Barr-Kellar herself began her teaching career at the school back in 1985.
She was there for 13 years before joining the Rainy River District School Board.
Mine Centre School had functioned as an independent school authority until its amalgamation with the local public board in 2008.
Following the amalgamation, Barr-Kellar returned to the school as principal last year.
“It’s full circle for me,” she remarked. “I’m looking actually quite forward to seeing some of my former colleagues that I haven’t seen in a number of years.”
Everyone from the public is welcome to come out, she stressed, noting personal invitations were sent to everyone the committee could remember who was a teacher, principal, or education assistant there.
The new school comes after the existing building was deemed ”prohibitive to repair” by the province—meaning that in its current state, the cost of repairing it would surpass other alternatives.
With funding coming from the province for the new school, the board has a capital budget of $6,449,600 to build the new facility.
The completion date for construction is at the end of June, with the old school’s demolition scheduled for this summer.
The new school will be roughly 17,450 sq. ft. in size, which will include one junior/senior kindergarten room, three junior/intermediate classrooms, a computer lab/library, learning circle room, special education room, language room, kitchen, and 3,200 sq. ft. gymnasium.
At last month’s school board meeting, trustees affirmed the new school’s name would remain as “Mine Centre School.”
The public can follow updates on the new building’s construction by visiting the board’s website at www.rrdsb.com