Beattie students bid farewell to McGill campus

By Tanya Cronin
June 28, 2016 - 4:37pm Updated: June 28, 2016 - 5:43pm

KAMLOOPS — Today was the last day of classes for students and staff at Beattie School of the Arts. 

After 12 years, teachers are packing up their classrooms and preparing to move down the hill, to join Beattie High School students next year, at the John Peterson Campus at SouthKam Secondary. 

Uniting the two campuses has been in the works for sometime.

WATCH: Full report by Tanya Cronin

A final song, on the final day of school for Beattie Elementary. It was a bittersweet moment for students, parents and teachers, as they sat together in this gymnasium, for the very last time.  

"When kids leave a building of course they'll feel a lot of nostalgia, but there's a lot of excitement too," says Barb Hamblett, Beattie School of the Arts Principal.

After 12 years on 492 McGill Road, Beattie School of the Arts is getting ready to move. Come September, students and staff will head over to the John Peterson Campus at SouthKam Secondary, where they will join their high school counterparts.         

"The kids have been through a lot of transition moving towards this final step, I call them change experts and I think they really are, I think they're prepared."

Beattie opened its doors as a school of choice in 2004 with just over 200 students. Since then, it has flourished and 500 students from kindergarten to grade 12 attend the arts school. It has always been the program's vision to move into one campus, and now that time has come. 

"I'm excited and nervous at the same time because high school is really big and I'm not going to know where anything is," says Beattie student.

"I feel nervous because we're going to high school and we have to start without our friends and some of our friends are going to a different high school," says Beattie student.

For grade 1 teacher Carmelina Woods, packing up over a decade of teaching comes with some mixed emotions. 

"I was very fortunate to be one of the first original teachers hired on here at Beattie, so I'm excited to see it follow through, in saying that, there's a lot of nervousness and anxiety to see what will happen, but I'm looking forward to the move, I think it's something that'll be a legacy in the making, so I'm excited," says Woods.

For parents, the feeling is mostly excitement. Confident their kids will adapt to a new location and learning environment.  

"I think this wide range of age between the kids is going to be good for them and there will probably be a few bumps in the road, but I think it'll work out well."

"This is going to be the best change ever, my kids, my oldest is in the high school already and she loves it." 

As Beattie students and staff prepare to say goodbye to only campus they've ever known and move down the hill, it may be the end of an era, but everyone here can agree a new adventure is just beginning.

"Just having 5 year olds and 17 year olds in the same building just follows the same philosophical belief of the whole school which was bringing like-minded kids together, bringing parents together that all believe in the same thing, so it's going to be a strong strong community."

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