Classrooms and hallways were empty of students during the summer, but our schools were full of dedicated facilities services staff who were hard at work getting ready for back to school. Summer is a busy time as projects are started and finished, halls get painted, and classrooms cleaned.

Construction on a new 11 classroom addition to Cedar Creek PS in Ayr started over one year ago, but this summer it was time for the finishing touches. Staff and construction crews were busy installing new lockers, finishing electrical work and adding new signs to bathrooms and classrooms. Existing classrooms and common areas were also cleaned top to bottom. The addition also includes a YMCA Childcare and an Early ON Child and Family Centre. Daycare classrooms are set up, the play area has fresh mulch for children to play, and the family centre is ready to welcome families and community members.

The new addition at Cedar Creek PS is ready to welcome students on September 3.

Workers add fresh mulch to the play area at the new YMCA childcare at Cedar Creek PS.

While students may not be able to see all the changes that happen to their school during the summer, some will be able to feel them. Workers at Grand River Collegiate Institute (GRCI) finished the installation of a new boiler and chiller. This change, hidden away in the basement of the school, will heat and cool the school more efficiently and quickly. Students at Laurentian and Queensmount Public Schools will also feel the difference this winter as their boilers received updates, with new pumps and accessories installed.

GRCI received a major upgrade with the installation of a new boiler and chiller.

Queen Elizabeth and Rockway Public Schools students won’t feel the heat any more thanks to the new airconditioning systems installed this summer. The upgrade is part of a new initiative, approved by Trustees during the 2018 budget process, to increase the number of airconditioned spaces across our schools. Suddaby PS also received updates to their airconditioned areas and ventilation system this summer.

A new AC unit is ready for installation at Queen Elizabeth PS.

Roof replacements kept construction crews busy this summer at Driftwood Park, Forest Hill, MacGregor, Margaret Avenue, Rockway, Southridge and Trillium Public Schools.

New Kindergarten students at Parkway and Pioneer Park Public Schools will start their year in freshly renovated learning spaces.

Secondary students will notice updates to their classrooms and learning spaces in many schools across our district. Elmira District Secondary School (EDSS) received updates to Family Studies classrooms, including changes that make the space more functional for teaching and upgrades to ovens and stoves. Forest Heights Collegiate Institute (FHCI) has a new classroom for medically fragile students. Huron Heights Secondary School (HHSS) students will enjoy new science labs. Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute (KCI) has a new gym floor, new windows on the south side and upgrades to Family Studies learning spaces, including new countertops, millwork and demonstration space. An updated library at Southwood Secondary School (SSS) is ready for students, and new countertops, cupboards and appliances in the Family Studies classroom will help students make delicious food.

While not every school had renovations or upgrades this summer, every school is cleaned, top to bottom, thanks to our custodial staff. One by one, classrooms were emptied of desks and chairs so floors can be waxed and carpets cleaned. All countertops wiped, washrooms scrubbed, and windows washed, ready for students who are eager to return on September 3rd.

The halls at GRCI receive a fresh coat of wax.

We want to thank each, and every one of our custodians, tradespeople, project coordinators, facility managers and controller of facility services for ensuring our schools are ready to welcome back students, staff and families for a new year of learning and discovering.

Thank you to all of our facility services staff for your hard work over the summer.