Local-area residents are invited to a special open house at the Horizon Mennonite Alternative Program (MAP) School to view the nearly-completed renovations. The event takes place on Friday, Jan. 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the school.
“All members of the community are invited to come and do a walkthrough of our school,” said school principal Jessie Sadlowski. He added there will be snacks and refreshments for visitors during the event.
In addition to the tour, Sadlowski said visitors will have a chance to take in the Trex (Travelling Exhibition Program) Art Exhibition currently on display at the school. The exhibition has been funded by the Alberta Foundation of the Arts since 1980 as part of a mandate to bring art into the lives of Albertans.
“It’s a real interesting show,” said Sadlowski. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to be exposed to some unique art work and it makes for great discussions.”
Sadlowski said people will be surprised at the changes made to the school, which houses 65 students from Grades 7 to 9.
“The building has taken on a huge transformation from what it originally was,” he said.
“I know the community is interested to see what’s been done with the old bus barns, and I think everyone will be quite impressed with what Horizon was able to do with the building so far,” he added.
Work began in 2010, and the building received a complete rebuild with a portion being torn down. The original structure is still in place, but utilities and insulation have all been upgraded. Heating and cooling systems in the school have also been upgraded. Portable classrooms were brought in for added space. The work will be completed in three phases with a total cost of approximately $577,000 for the first two phases combined. The final phase, which is currently in progress, has been budgeted for about $81,000. Upgrades are expected to be finalized by the end of May, according to Sadlowski, adding there is still exterior landscaping to be done to the building and school grounds to be completed over the summer.
“It’s been a very smooth transition from our old building to our new one,” said Sadlowski. “There was hardly any disruption.”
He said the staff and students are excited about the changes, and the extra space now means students will have a chance at extra mobility in the new building. He also noted the students’ excitement by the fact there is now space for lockers.
“The reaction has been fantastic from both staff and students.”