A crowd gathered in the Heritage Hills area for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new replacement school for Wye Elementary.
 
Wednesday's (Aug.29) ceremony included greetings from Elder Wilson Bearhead, as well as speeches from Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) board chair Trina Boymook, MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas, mayor Rod Frank and principal Bill Schlacht. The school's ukulele ensemble performed for the crowd.
 
Building a new school was in a three-year capital plan for EIPS and government funding came through a couple of years ago.
 
Heritage Hills was chosen as the school's location partly for its convenience for the students. Children living in Heritage Hills are designated to attend Wye school, so they don't have to commute far.
 
The Sherwood Park school will cost approximately $16 million and have room for over 650 students.
 
Wye Elementary staff were given the chance to provide their input on the design of the new school. Their goals included creating a modern, state-of-the-art learning facility as well as having a school that is energy efficient.
 
"We're pretty excited about this one. This will be one of our first facilities that will incorporate solar energy," said Boymook.
 
The exterior cladding of the school will have solar panels and the students will also have a solar panel on the ground level that they will be able to use to experiment with solar energy.
 
Schlacht noted that the children will learn in a unique way. The school is going to be built to allow the students to get out of the classrooms and work around the entire building.
 
"It's not your traditional classrooms where kids are in rows and desks."
 
"The school district has been so good. Strathcona County has been so good, the community has been so good. The success of this whole project is from all the people working together," Schalcht added.
 
Construction should be complete by 2020.

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