SNHS showcases building to community members, families during open house
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux North High School (SNHS) opened their doors to students, families, and community members during their annual open house on Oct. 17.
The open house was an opportunity for SNHS to showcase the building and its amenities to community members while parents and family members saw students’ learning environments.
“A lot of community members were wondering when we were having an open house because they couldn’t come to the grand opening. It was a closed event and we could only accommodate so many people… There are lots of people who haven’t been in the building yet, so this gives them a chance to come in, take a look for themselves, and walk around the building with a student tour guide. Our friends and colleagues from Firefly and Confederation College also opened their doors so people can see their spaces. It’s really about welcoming the community to our new space and being around to answer questions. It feels awesome to proudly show our new building,” said Wayne Mercer, SNHS Principal.
“A lot of the students who are giving tours tonight are students who gave tours during our grand opening last year when we had all the dignitaries from the province and everybody here, so they were student leaders last year and some of them are still here this year. When we asked them if they would step up and be tour guides again they were just so happy to do that, and I think they’re very proud of their school. I hope our students see themselves reflected in this building when they walk around. A lot of things they wanted to see are incorporated in the design and even our name and logo are student driven, so it’s not something that was imposed upon them. It’s theirs, and that’s what’s special about this place… I’m very proud to see my students proudly showcasing the school to the public,” he said.
“It’s a good experience. A lot of people are impressed by the cafetorium and the amount of seats we have there, and the library is also a big hit,” said Charles Darling, grade 10 student at SNHS and open house tour guide.
Mercer said he received positive feedback from the public about the space. He also heard suggestions and recommendations that he said will come in due time when the school is fully completed.
“I’ve heard lots of positive comments from people who say they like the space, it’s nice and bright, it’s modern, and they love the cafetorium, which is certainly a highlight when they walk through the building. We’ve also received lots of suggestions like the lack of signage but that will come. The building is not 100 per cent complete. There’s still landscaping happening and there’s a few deficiencies in our building that have to be completed before the building is considered complete… It’s still a process of the final completion happening as we’re conducting the business of school at the same time,” he said.
In April 2014, the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) received $30 million to build Sioux North High School as a replacement for Queen Elizabeth District High School.
SNHS officially opened its doors on March 18, welcoming students and staff.
Earlier this year the school board shared that the 80,000 square foot building includes:
Many large window and glass features throughout the building allowing for plenty of natural light and open areas.
A sizeable multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium (or cafetorium) with full dramatic arts capabilities, including telescopic seating, integrated lighting, elevated stage, and a sophisticated sound system.
New, state of the art equipment and spaces for shop classes, science labs, communication labs and food and nutrition programs.
New furniture throughout the building.
A large and bright library with a wall of windows including a variety of seating options and work stations for students.
A gym with a hardwood floor and large windows that fill the gym with natural light.
A new music room with skylights to allow natural light in and all new instruments to support the music program.