It’s been a bittersweet journey for Regina’s École Connaught Community School.
Following a long tug of war between those who wanted to tear down the historic, structurally-unsound building and those who wanted to restore it, the school was eventually demolished in 2014.
After that decision was made, many in the Cathedral community decided to focus that passionate energy into making the new school the best it could be.
“We will learn to build memories and continue to build community around this school,” said NDP MLA Carla Beck at the school’s grand opening Friday afternoon.
“There’s not much to be sad about — this is a happy day.”
Despite being a vocal advocate for restoring the former building, Beck said — as a parent of a child who attends Connaught School — she’s amazed by all of its modern learning features.
The more than 10,000-square foot building boasts a rooftop terrace, reading nooks, dry erase tables, gender neutral bathrooms and a 51-space child care centre.
The bright and innovative structure also has a space that pays homage to the previous school, which features a heritage wall built with the old bricks, and lined with plaques and pictures dating back to 1912.
“It’s our history, it’s our roots. It’s really a very special community and we wanted that community vibe to be brought right back to our new building. We didn’t want to erase our past,” explained principal Lori Daeli, who joined Connaught School at its interim location, the former Wascana School building, in 2015.
This year, 434 students attend the French immersion elementary school at 3515 13th Avenue.