Quesnel Junior School principal Trish Simpson (left) with vice principal Chuck Loewen. (Rebecca Dyok photo — Quesnel Observer)

Quesnel Junior School principal Trish Simpson (left) with vice principal Chuck Loewen. (Rebecca Dyok photo — Quesnel Observer)

Quesnel Junior School open for classes

The new yet-to-be-completed school opened last week

Every day at the new Quesnel Junior School is a like a Christmas present waiting to be unwrapped, says vice principal Chuck Loewen.

Construction continues on the new, modern learning space that welcomed students to class Wednesday, Sept. 14, and Thursday, Sept. 15.

Crews typically start their shift in the late afternoon, well after students have completed classes, working early into the morning to complete the $52.2 million facility.

“Is this the nicest building in Quesnel right now? I think maybe so,” Loewen enthusiastically said last week.

The Quesnel Observer was provided with a brief tour of the new Quesnel Junior School, the first major school project to be completed in Quesnel since 1997.

Many classrooms still had boxes and supplies waiting to be unpacked after moving from Maple Drive Junior School next door, which has partially been torn down.

The new school comes after structural issues were found at Quesnel Junior school in 2017, noted B.C.’s Ministry of Education and Child Care. At the time, the province provided approximately $1.8 million to renovate the then-closed Maple Drive Junior school as a short-term solution to ensure Quesnel Junior students would have a safe learning environment.

“We are excited to have a new school and thank the Ministry of Education and Child Care for investing and supporting this great new facility at Quesnel Junior school,” said Tony Goulet, board chair, Quesnel School District, in a news release. “As a board, we are excited and welcome students and staff to a great facility equipped to educate them for years to come.”

Classrooms have garage-style doors that can open up, providing flexible learning.

While some contractors are behind on other projects by months, Loewen said JEN COL Construction continues to power through.

“These guys have worked their tails off to make this happen, so they get two thumbs up.”

Quesnel Junior School principal Trish Simpson is also thrilled with the new school.

A public open house is anticipated in the future.

Read More: Opening slightly delayed at new Quesnel Junior School

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