The excitement was palpable outside Begbie View Elementary this morning as students, parents and staff waited for their first look inside the new school.
It was back-to-school day in Revelstoke today, and for the 230 students and their parents it was the first day at the brand new, $15.4-million school.
Outside they milled about, enjoying coffee and muffins as they awaited the 10 a.m. alarm and the opening of the school doors.
There was no alarm – instead the doors quietly opened and everyone entered through the double-doors in a fairly orderly manner. There was no crush of kids looking to be first.
Everyone filed into the gym where they were greeted by principal Shan Jorgensen-Adam. Students sat on the floor while parents either sat in chairs or stood around them.
“This morning I woke up excited, but I think I’m even more excited now that I see all of you here in this brand new, beautiful gymnasium ready to start the school year,” said Jorgensen-Adam. “This morning when I woke up my husband said to me, ‘Are you excited or nervous?’ I was like, ‘I’m both, plus 200 other things.'”
She thanked the construction crew from Graham for its hard work in getting the school open and they received a round of applause. “The more you’ll see this school, the more you’ll appreciate how hard they worked to build this beautiful facility,” she said.
Then she introduced the staff – 13 classroom teachers and a dozen more support staff. There was more applause.
Jorgensen-Adam also introduced the school’s motto: “Grow together and be our best.” It was the product of conversations with the students, parents and staff that were in the room.
“We heard worries when we talked to you last year that you wanted to feel safe. That you wanted to be respected and have people be kind. That you wanted caring and fairness. That you wanted people who were responsible and good citizens, that were honest, that showed courage, that did their best, that were empathetic to others, that our school was a community and that we can co-operate together and be creative,” she said. “We heard all of those things and so we’re hoping as the school year begins and we continue on our way, that we will all grow together and be our best.”
Finally, she read from the book, Back to School Rules, while the students sat restless in front of her, with that nervous excitement that permeates all kids on the first day of school — amplified by the new environment.
The students then went with their teachers to their classrooms. For kindergarten students, it was the first day of school ever. Most will spend their entire grade school education in Revelstoke’s two new facilities.
For higher grades, they went off to new classrooms – their first look at the rest of the amazing new building.