REGINA — The halls of Sacred Heart Community School in Regina’s North Central neighbourhood reverberated more loudly than usual March 31 as former students, teachers, neighbours and friends gathered for what was the final school assembly.
“Oh, it was great,” said former student, now Catholic school trustee, Richard Dittrick as he wandered down the halls and poked into classrooms that brought back many memories of his Grades 1-4 years. “There was a lot of nostalgia for sure” as he recalled former classmates and teachers.
Students prepared memorabilia from their classrooms which were encased in a time capsule to be opened at some point in the future. They showed what school life was like in 2016. The school will empty April 24 as students, teachers and staff pack up and move a few steps west to a brand new state-of-the-art school.
The familiar iconic statue of the Sacred Heart, blessed by the late Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan, which stood at the entrance of the old school now greets everyone at the entrance to the new one. There was also a torch-passing ceremony, blessed by Rev. John Weckend of St. Cecelia’s Parish, within whose area the school is located. The torch was lit and blessed by Weckend at the old school and then students carried it to their new school.
As part of the assembly at the old school, teacher Adam Ward showed a video he created detailing Sacred Heart’s history. “Everybody is excited about the move to the new school, but a lot of good memories still live here at the old school,” said trustee Dittrick.
Built in 1928, the school and specifically the gymnasium required major renovations, but government funding was not available until things began to fall off the ceiling and walls and the gymnasium was declared unsafe and closed. A temporary gym was established in the former Sacred Heart Church adjacent to the school and a covered corridor was constructed connecting the two.
The new school is part of a government rebuild program which included Connaught Public School located a few blocks south of Sacred Heart.
Sacred Heart School became a community school and a focal point for residents of North Central. Parents and children regularly gathered there weekday evenings for reading sessions. The new school contains rooms for community use.
Demolition of the old building is scheduled to begin shortly after it is vacated to make room for a new gymnasium that is slated for the land currently occupied by the old school.