The transition from the old Langley Secondary to the new school is at the midway point – but next September, students will see a major difference.
“This has happened in phases,” said LSS principal Marcello Moino. “We’re about 80 per cent built.”
This year, students at LSS went to the 1949-era classrooms as usual. Starting next fall, they’ll occupy the 2019-built classrooms that were finished this spring.
Students from the Langley Education Centre have actually had the first chance to try out the new spaces, since their building was receiving seismic upgrades.
When the LSS students take over in the fall, they’ll find a host of new features that weren’t even contemplated in 1949.
“One of the ideas is flexible spaces,” said Moino. Some classrooms have movable walls that can be folded away, doubling the size of the room for larger groups. When back in place, those walls (as well as many student tables) have white board surfaces, so students with dry erase pens can work in small groups sketching out ideas or trying out math problems.
The hallways are radically different, Moino said, with benches and alcoves for students to study, and rows of half-height lockers that can also be used as long tables for more group projects.
There’s a new cafeteria and common area with a small stage that could be used for dramatic performances or announcements.
Combine that with the modern LED lighting, electric and USB sockets in the walls and tables, and the new side of the school is quite a bit different from the 70-year-old side.
With most of the new side of the school built, the next phase is one of demolition.
Most of the old part of the school will be deconstructed, starting in July once students are out and continuing through to December.
Some classic maple wood from the cafeteria will be salvaged and used to build benches for the new section of the school, Moino said.
Then the final phase of construction begins. A new main office, counselling centre, staff room, and a resource classroom will be added to finalize the reconstruction. That section will open in 2020.
When the project is done, two gyms and some of the shops will remain from the “old” LSS, including the original gym built in 1949.
For the past month, Moino has been taking students and teachers on Friday tours of the new classrooms they’ll be returning to next fall.
“The general reaction, they just walk in and they say, ‘Wow, how about that!’” he said.