|Grade 12 students Quinsy Leier, Amy Edwards, Kate Moffat, Mya August and Uriah Stene stake out space on the risers that border the common area at Vernon Secondary.|
On their first day in their new school, students quickly found their way around the three-story building to their new classrooms, but it was the journey that stood out for them. Large windows in the library and the commons brought light into the centre of the building. The classrooms all have large windows as well.
Perched on a window ledge in a north facing stairway, Grade 9 student Sarah Jones said, "It's the windows. It's bright now."
She also praised the commons, a large open area off the main entrance where students can eat their lunches, study or simply hang out.
Senior Panther basketball player Mitchell Pepper and his teammates were in the new gym at noon, preparing for their next game against cross-town rivals at Clarence Fulton Secondary. "It's a great gym," he said, pointing out the glass backboards, the viewing areas that let students in the common area watch the action, the dust coating on the floor and the new weight room.
Grade 9 student Maddie Powls, who along with several of her friends had already staked out space on the third floor, noted the water fountains. "There's two heights, but more important, there are spouts designed for us to fill our water bottles," she said.
The only complaint students had were the size of some of the lockers. "The smaller lockers are an inconvenience," said Grade 12 student Quinsy Leier, "and stacking them means it can be awkward to get your stuff."
Although classes are underway, there is still work to be done to complete the transfer to the new building. The cafeteria equipment has yet to be completely installed, some of the technology is not functioning, and during the move, teaching supplies have been misplaced.
But given the smiles from students and staff, the move from the bricks has lifted spirits.