New Brunswick

Goodbye, Seawood School — Hello, Seaside Park School

As kids across the province squirm through the last day of school, students at Seawood School in west Saint John are saying an extra-special goodbye this year.

West side elementary school is closing after 57 years, but students aren't going far

Students at Seawood School on the west side of Saint John will move in September to the new Seaside Park School, less than a kilometre away. (Seawood School)

As kids across the province squirm through the last day of school, students at Seawood School in west Saint John are saying an extra-special goodbye this year. After 57 years on Sand Cove Road, the school will close its doors forever.

Students at the school for kindergarten to Grade 5 will move in September to the newly constructed Seaside Park School, less than a kilometre away.

It's a much bigger building, able to accommodate nearly 480 students compared with Seawood, which had an enrolment this year of just over 100. The new school will also replace St. Patrick's and Havelock schools

Updated, bigger school

Seawood, built in 1960, needed to be updated, according to principal Matthew Bedard.

In 2015, the Department of Education announced it would  spend about $21.6 million over three years to build Seaside Park School, which will better accommodate new technology and learning styles.

"Everyone is excited for the move," said Bedard, "although for some of the younger students it hasn't really set in yet— they don't think that far ahead. They're just excited to be in school with their teachers."

Old-school cool

In the months leading up to the big move, teachers and administrators strove to "keep things as normal as possible" for students, said Bedard, who will be moving to another leadership position with the school district rather than joining Seawood teachers at Seaside. 

That's not to say there haven't been few trips down memory lane.

"We had an open house here for the students and the general public," Bedard said, "and brought back some former teachers and some memorabilia, and went through time capsules.

On Friday, Seawood students and teachers are marking the end of the year with an assembly and citizenship awards presented to rooms and individual students by MLA Dorothy Shephard.

The adults are looking forward to it and to everything the new school has to offer

"The Seawood community's pretty excited about the potential," said Bedard. "We're looking forward to everything the new school has to offer."

With files from Information Morning Saint John