Community celebrates new Morrin School | DrumhellerMail
Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2024 3pm

Community celebrates new Morrin School

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The community of Morrin celebrated on Monday afternoon as they officially held a grand opening for the new Morrin school.
Years in the making, students officially began class in the new school at the beginning of 2024. On Monday, June 10, members of Prairie Land School Division, the Village of Morrin, Starland County, partners in the construction and students and staff, past and present gathered for the momentous occasion.
“The rich history of Morrin School is filled with achievement and community spirit. Today we build on that legacy with a new chapter that promises even greater opportunities for our children,” said Ken Macfarlane, Trustee for Prairie Land School Divison.
Former principal Larry Anderson touched on the history of schooling in the community that began 113 years ago when the Alberta Midland Railroad arrived in the community. That same year, the inaugural meeting of the Morrin School Board Number 2513 took place. It took nine years before the first school was built, and classes were held at the Union Church. He described nine different iterations of the school buildings leading up to the new modern school.
Superintendent Cam McKeage says the new school is a reflection of the community that built it. “The school does not belong to the individuals inside, it doesn’t belong to the professionals or the board of trustees, it doesn’t belong to the administrators, it really belongs to the community. Schools have to resonate with the beliefs and values of the community itself. I believe Morrin School does just that,” said McKeage.
He explained the process began shortly after Delia School was constructed and that the need for a new Morrin School was pressing. The process was led by the credo expressed by Chief Deputy Superintendent and former Morrin School teacher Steve Nielsen, “We only get one chance to do it right.”
The go-ahead for the construction was given in November of 2019, and the community came together. The Friends of Morrin School were able to raise over $760,000 to add to and improve the school, making a larger gym, library and community hub space. Jenna Kemp of Group 2 Architecture, with creativity, patience and thorough consultation, put together a design that works for the community. Shunda Consulting and Construction Management undertook the construction, breaking ground in June of 2022.
“Our philosophy in Prairie Land is to always do what is best for the students, and what is best for the students is to give them the best resources we have and make them available to them so they can have the success they all deserve,” said Principal, Don Yavis, who is retiring at the end of the school year. “The programming we now offer at Morrin School is amazing compared to what it was years ago.”
He is happy to see the completion of the school and the possibilities for the students. “With the new school being here, and the saving out the old gymnasium and turning it into the hub we are going to be able to run a baseball program, hockey program. We’ll have a CTS shop there with welding, woodworking and electronics and all kinds of things. We have a huge food lab so we run a food program for junior high and high school kids,” said Yavis.
Yavis states, “The biggest selling point for our school is our family atmosphere and our safe and caring environment. Everything we do here is kids first.”

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