Wilson holds official ceremony to mark completion of modernization
By Garrett Simmons
Lethbridge School District No. 51
Thursday morning represented the culmination of three-and-a-half years of hard work for Wilson Middle School.
The school hosted its official grand opening today, complete with a ribbon cutting and a photo with the official Government of Alberta plaque, to signify the completion of the modernization effort.
It was back in 1968 when the building became Wilson Middle School, and now, almost 50 years later, the facility has received a major facelift.
“We now have three modern middle schools in the District,” said Mich Forster, chair of the Board of Trustees, who added G.S. Lakie Middle School was built in 2003 and Gilbert Paterson Middle School was modernized in 2010. “In one year from now, there will be another middle school opening in the south area of the westside.”
Forster thanked the staff and students at Wilson for their co-operation and patience displayed throughout the modernization. Classrooms were moved, offices were relocated and gym use was limited at times throughout the construction.
He also recognized FWBA Architects, MPE Engineering Ltd. and Ward Bros. Construction Ltd. for their hard work in designing and constructing the project.
Principal Dean Hawkins said Thursday was a proud day for the Wilson community, as that pride was summed up with the T-shirts students wore for the day’s assembly. Students wore grey shirts with the slogan, “New Side, Same Pride,” created by a Wilson students, as the shirt also featured the school’s iconic Wolverine mascot.
Hawkins also highlighted some of the school’s new features, which include a brand-new entrance and open learning spaces throughout the building.
“Our vision is simple – we want everyone to be part of the Wilson family,” said Hawkins, as he explained the reasoning behind the designs for the common areas.
The principal highlighted the renovated gym, new modern classrooms and the upgraded band and shop areas as other examples of how the work will allow Wilson to deliver unique programming for its students.
“We feel like we have done a fairly good job of creating spaces where you can be creative and innovative.”
Constituency assistant Arie deValois delivered a statement on behalf of Lethbridge-East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick, who could not attend Thursday’s opening,
“I am so pleased that our government was able to make life better for you by getting the renovations completed,” said Fitzpatrick. “I certainly hope students and staff enjoy and make the best use of all of this space. I look forward to seeing you shortly and hearing your thoughts on your bright, airy and newly-renovated space, and how you are using it.”
In the end, Hawkins added the modernized school is a facility everyone can take pride in.
“We’re very proud of our school and we hope the community is a proud of it as we are. We hope you enjoy this building, because there has been a lot of work that has gone into it.”
Date posted: Sept. 21, 2017