Education minister touring JL Crowe on Friday

Trail high school’s 21st century learning will be on display Friday when the Minister of Education stops in for a tour and an official opening celebration.

Though Greater Trail students are well into their second post-secondary year at the new J. L. Crowe Secondary School, principal David DeRosa looks forward to Honourable George Abbott acknowledging a job well done.

“Each of our learning environments has what the minister hopes to achieve eventually and that’s the technology for direct interaction,” said DeRosa. “Kids can interact with a smart board, have the Internet projected onto a screen in real-time, and have real-time video of events like the election.

“Most kids have some sort of hand-held electronic device that two or three can sit around and do research right from their desk, instead of going to a lab.”

The $33 million investment was built on the existing site of the former school and was opened in September 2009, though the exterior of the building was still under construction for some time after.

“If you ask a few teachers, it’s still not done,” laughed DeRosa. “It’s like a new house, there’s always little things.”

Crowe Grad president Amber Oosthuyzen remembers when students were wary of making the transition into the new school.

“It was cool that we were getting a new school but we were not wanting it because there was so much history in the old school and we heard so many rumours about it like it was going to be too small,” she recalled.

But her worries were put to rest when she walked into the “sophisticated” space and realized how well it fits students’ needs.

“I think the new school is awesome because it offers so much new technology, it’s just advanced our community in the way of education,” she said.

Beyond technology, DeRosa points to the school’s physical facilities, which include a strength and conditioning space, cardio cross-training room, and two gymnasiums – if you count the city’s Willi Krause Fieldhouse that is attached to the school.

“We have one of the highest daily physical activity success rates in a high school,” said DeRosa. “We have more kids doing more fitness-oriented activity in our school than most provincially.”

The new school has a real “bright, airy, and inviting” layout that centres around two main arteries, the multi-purpose space and the library.

“Kids gather there before school, at lunch, during class time and after school,” said DeRosa, who looks forward to showing off the facility.

After Abbott has a tour of Crowe, observes classrooms and meets with the school’s Parent Advisory Council, he’ll take part in the formal ceremony in the gym.

The event open to the public will start at about 11 a.m.