State-of-the-art Stz’uminus Secondary School will welcome first students this fall

More than 250 people gathered last week for a glimpse of the new Stz'umius Secondary School.

The Stz’uminus Secondary School open house was a complete success May 31

The Stz’uminus Secondary School open house was a complete success May 31

Summer break may be swiftly approaching, but many of the students attending Stz’uminus Secondary School when it opens this fall already can’t wait to get back into the classroom.

That enthusiasm was evident Thursday night, as well over 250 community members and students gathered to get their first glimpse inside the new facility.

“I’m looking forward to coming here,” said Deanna Seymour, a Grade 9 student. “I’m excited that it’s new and much bigger than the other school.”

Open house attendees were given maps and encouraged to go on self-guided tours of the state-of-the-art building, which includes a half-sized gym, fitness room, library, large kitchen, science lab and a lecture hall that can seat approximately 49.

Kendall Wilson, a Grade 12 student, will be attending the school in the fall to upgrade her sciences and plans to apply to Vancouver Island University for biomedical studies.

“I think it’s awesome … I think by having a new school, it will give us more of a chance to have extracurricular activities, which is nice,” she said.

Wilson said her favourite aspect of the new school is the gym, and she hopes the building’s ample space will one day be host to an after-school drama class.

“I think it will be easier to have more things like school spirit days, drama days, crazy hair day, 80s day, that type of thing,” she said.

Science teacher Darrell Schaan says he is absolutely thrilled about the new lab, which includes a fume hood, Bunsen burners, protective lab coats and safety gear such as a shower station and eyewear.

“With the funding they’ve put into this place … we’ve been able to provide it with everything a top-notch science lab should have,” he said. “The kids can now do science in a more hands-on, real-life, meaningful, situation-based learning style. They’re going to be more enthusiastic, and their motivation level is just going to skyrocket.”

Woodshop instructor and vice-principal Cameron Park showcased the school’s new workshop, which includes state-of-the-art equipment with SawStop technology — a blade that contains electrical sensors which detect saline content in flesh and stop the blade within a quarter of a rotation.

“I’ve been teaching carpentry out of the parking lot on sunny days for the last four years,” he said. “We do a great job with what we have and you can still teach really valid things about safety and proper use of tools, but just being able to take it to the next level in a facility like this is such a good opportunity for the kids.

“For the first time in the eight years I’ve been teaching [here], the kids finally have the kind of school they really deserve.”

Stu”ate Lelum has been the home of high school education for Stz’uminus for many years and provides education to students as far as Nanaimo and Duncan.

While functional, the facility has been in need of upgrading for some time. For the past 11 years, dedicated people like Stz’uminus education director Charlotte Elliot have been working toward the construction of a new high school.

Principal Len Merriman, who has been involved for the last five, said Thursday night’s open house was a real dream for many.

“When you walk inside, you feel it’s a place students can learn,” he said. “We’ve got students who are proud of who they are — now they can be proud of where they are.”

Just Posted

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley was passed up for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan. (Photo submitted)
Op-Ed: Modernizing forestry and prioritizing reconciliation

Doug Routley writes on Fairy Creek and Central Walbran Valley old growth deferrals

The log retaining wall that supports the access road to the Ladysmith Community Marina is failing and needs to be replaced. (Cole Schisler photo)
Remediation work for community marina access road expected to be costly

A log retaining wall between the access road and the parking area is failing and must be replaced

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read