Three Oaks school renos creating new opportunities for students

Teachers and students at Three Oaks High School have begun moving into newly renovated classrooms.

Upgrades include new classrooms, theatre space and culinary arts lab

The first phase of renovations at Three Oaks High School was completed this month. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The first phase of a massive $22.6-million redesign of Three Oaks High School in Summerside, P.E.I., is complete and students and staff are moving into their new spaces.

The work completed so far includes classrooms, study spaces and a theatre.

Feedback from students has been "wonderful," said Three Oaks principal Jeff Clow.

"They like the new lighting, they like the new flooring," he said.

The renovated classrooms have new windows, flooring, ceilings and lighting. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The creation of new work spaces will be of particular benefit, Clow explained, because in the past, the school never had enough space for group work, so students would spill out into the hallways.

The renovation includes the addition of new breakout study rooms where students can go to work on project-based activities. The work spaces are also equipped with Wi-Fi.

'Set up for the 21st century'

The initial phase of the renovation began in March and was completed this month. So far, 24,000 square feet of the 160,000-square-foot building have been renovated. 

The work completed so far includes nine classrooms with new windows, flooring and lighting. Students will also have access to a new 100-seat black box theatre as well as a culinary arts food lab. The renovation also includes new interactive projectors, wireless technology and reinforced sound systems in all classrooms. 

The renovations include a new 100-seat black box theatre. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

"It's just amazing the way the school's being set up for the 21st century," said Jordan Brown, minister of education, early learning and culture. 

"The big thing is engagement and student interest, that's the key to education. It's really capturing the students' interest and their imagination and enabling them to see what opportunities can be created by their schooling." 

More work to be done

The project also includes an upgraded boiler room and heating system as well as upgraded student washrooms.

Construction underway includes renovations to the library and lecture theatre, physics lab, independent study areas as well as an expanded band and practice room. 

The school is also constructing a new outdoor track-and-field facility, and has yet to begin renovations on the final 18 classrooms, the cafeteria, science labs, gym spaces and administrative areas.

The renovations are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. 

With files from Tom Steepe