Long time coming: Torbay's new school opens its doors Tuesday

Long time coming: Torbay's new school opens its doors Tuesday

Some Torbay students didn't just say goodbye to classes during the Easter break — they said goodbye to their old schools.

The new intermediate school opens its doors Tuesday.

It's an unusual time for a school to open, acknowledged principal Don Emberley, who added the school was supposed to open in September.

"As with any construction project, maintaining timelines can be a challenge," he said. "When we realized that we were not going to be able to open in September, we started looking at a contingency plan for that."

Waiting until the next school year was an option, said Emberley, but opening in the spring has some advantages.

"We're going to be bringing students from two current schools. One is Cape St. Francis Elementary in Pouch Cove, and the other is Holy Trinity Elementary in Torbay," he said.

"So right now that'll total 340 students. In September, we are going to be introducing Grade 7 to our school, and become a Grade 5-7 school, and our enrolment will grow to about 540."

A growing population

Opening on Tuesday with 340 students, as opposed to 540 students, will be much easier, he said, as well as giving those students more time for adjustment, he said.

The school was badly needed, Emberley said.

The Town of Torbay has been growing, and while Holy Trinity Elementary isn't an old school, its population growth has exceeded expectations. Cape St. Francis was also very full, and both needed more space.

But the name of the school is a secret, for now.

The school's new council garnered suggestions from the community for school names, created a short list and got feedback on the finalists, and have made a recommendation to the board of trustees, and are waiting on approval.

The four short-listed names are Juniper Ridge Intermediate, Spruce Ridge Intermediate, Northeast Intermediate, and Water's Edge Intermediate.

Ultra-modern building with 31 classrooms

Emberley describes the school with no name as an "ultra-modern" building set well-back off Torbay Road.

It is a two-storey building with 31 classrooms, a science lab, computer lab, library, two music spaces and a large gymnasium, divisible into two.

"I've had the opportunity to tour it a number of times and you're going through and seeing everything new going in, and I must say, it's fantastic," said Emberley.

Everyone is anxious for classes to start in the new school, he added.

"There's been a lot of work going into this for a long time now, since September specifically, and it's super exciting to see everything come together," he said.

"We're ready for this, we've been planning for it for a while. We're really excited to see the buses roll on our lot tomorrow morning."