Massey gets a facelift
By Noah Gecelovsky
Vincent Massey Secondary School is 57-years-old and with the rise of enrollment, the school is looking at getting some big renovations.
On Feb. 20 workers and supervisors from Loaring Construction met with Principal Joan Rankin at Massey to discuss the project and the stages involved. Workers installed fences and began construction for the renovations on Feb. 21.
According to Rankin, Massey’s student population is over 2,000 meaning the school will need more classrooms. The last time Massey saw a student population this high was in the early 1960 where the student population was at 2,200. This called for the opening of a new high school which later became Centennial high school. The first step is turning the pool, which was filled in with cement, into a new cafeteria and kitchen for the staff and students. As of right now, students occupy the entire cafeteria and stage even with lunch periods split between juniors and seniors. With the cafeteria full, this forces students to find other places around the school to eat like hallways, stairwells and empty classrooms.
The new cafeteria is projected to fit approximately 550 students with possible additions and still meet proper regulations. While the new cafeteria will seat more than the old, it still does not accommodate all students. The renovation will decrease the amount of students that are left sitting in the classrooms and stairwells.
The new renovations will also create a smoother flow in and out of the cafeteria and the kitchen area. The students are excited about the new change but the kitchen staff are even more excited about the new kitchen.
“We’re looking forward to a new kitchen and we hope everything goes okay,” said Loree Demcie, one of Massey’s kitchen staff. Demcie has been at Massey serving hot lunches to students for eight years. “Hopefully the transitions are smooth. This should be a lot easier for our delivery guy as well.”
Loree Demcie, Lisa Arnold and Susie Walker work in the kitchen and each have a positive view of the renovations. All three are excited for the new cafeteria.
The new cafeteria will have two sets of doors opening onto the pre-existing parking lot which will help decrease congestion at the front of the school a regular problem Massey has had.
The old cafeteria will stay in use until the new one is built and functioning. Once students are able to use the new cafeteria, the old cafeteria will be transformed into six new classrooms and a washroom facility will be installed in the centre of the space.
The murals that past students painted have also been taken into consideration. Rankin’s plan is to have them digitally scanned and move them over to the new cafeteria to preserve the art as well as the history.
The cafeteria move is the largest renovation but there are also many other updates being made to the school to keep it running smoothly. The bathrooms, vents and heaters throughout the school will be updated to work more efficiently. The gymnasiums will also have new bleachers installed to accommodate more fans.
The cost for the project has not been released yet but the renovations are all expected to be finished by Sept. 2017.
Rankin assures parents, students and teachers that during the construction process, students will not be distracted or affected by work being done around the school as some of it will carry into the summer months.