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New MacLeod 'absolutely phenomenal'

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Apr 02, 2014 - 12:37 PM |
 MacLeod Public School principal Michelle Walton speaks with senior kindergarten student Hudson Leblanc (centre) and junior kindergarten student Keegan Cook. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

MacLeod Public School principal Michelle Walton speaks with senior kindergarten student Hudson Leblanc (centre) and junior kindergarten student Keegan Cook. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

School designed to be energy-efficient

Christy Carbone said her two daughters love their new school.

Her youngest daughter, Livie, a Grade 1 student at MacLeod Public School, was among the students who moved into the newly completed Walford Road school building after the March Break.

The school's junior kindergarten to Grade 2 students had been attending classes in MacLeod's annex, or a separate building on the school's campus. The annex will now be demolished.

MacLeod's grade 3-8 students — including Carbone's older daughter, Mya, who is in Grade 3 — have been attending classes at the old Wembley Public School during construction. They'll stay there until September.

The mother said Livie's favourite feature is the rubberized floor in the school's new gym.

“My daughter says 'When I run it doesn't hurt' because it's a rubber floor,” Carbone said.

She said she thinks the new MacLeod is “absolutely phenomenal,” and her daughters are lucky.

“What child gets a new school to go to?” Carbone said. “It's amazing.”

The $17-million, 60,000-square-foot school includes features such as Apple televisions in the grades 1-8 classrooms, state-of-the-art early learning classrooms and 40 daycare spaces.

Livie's favourite room — the full-sized gym — allows the school to host sports events such as basketball tournaments. There's also a stage in the gym to accommodate performances.

The new MacLeod can accommodate 600 students. Current enrolment is at 550.

Rainbow District School Board director of education Norm Blaseg said he expects MacLeod's enrolment to rise because of the new building.

The school has been designed to be easy on the environment, with displacement ventilation and heat-recovery systems, radiant floor heating, high insulation windows, walls and floors and energy-efficient plumbing and heating.

“Our utility bills are down significantly,” Blaseg said.

The roof was built to allow for the installation of solar panels at a later date.

This is the third school Rainbow has built recently, and all of them have “green” features. Valley View Public School opened in the fall of 2007, and Walden Public School opened in the fall of 2009.

The old MacLeod was actually two buildings on one site — the main school and the annex — both of which were more than 50 years old and prohibitive to repair. The school was at more than 100 per cent capacity in terms of enrolment.

The construction project, which started in the spring of 2012, actually came in underbudget by about $800,000. The surplus will be used for the board's other construction projects, Blaseg said.

The staged move-in gives contractors a chance to lay sod in the school yard, Blaseg said. While there's currently a paved area on the playground, it's not big enough for all of the school's pupils.

New playground equipment wasn't included with the project, so the school will launch a fundraising drive, MacLeod principal Michelle Walton said. She estimates new playground equipment could cost “easily into the six figures.”

She said she's looking forward to having all of her students on one site next fall — something that's never happened before.

“We've always been in two buildings,” Walton said. “The old building used to sit here with the annex in behind. We're really excited about being MacLeod Public School — in one building all together as a community.”

Parents and guardians interested in touring the new MacLeod can do so starting at 5:30 p.m. April 22, when there will be an open house. For more information, phone the school at 705-522-8040.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer


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