Opening of school and library partnership significant for City

The City officially opened the partnership that is the Ecole Barrie Wilson Elementary School and the newest branch of Red Deer Public Library last week.

The opening of the joint services was a significant nod to Red Deer’s recent growth and development in the north east end of the City, official said.

The students and staff of Ecole Barrie Wilson were pleased to welcome Barrie Wilson, Mayor Tara Veer, members of City council and superintendent Piet Langstraat among others to the official opening ceremony held on Oct. 8th.

“I am overwhelmed. I feel overwhelmed, awesome and pleased to be moving forward because there was a lot leading up to this,” said Barrie Wilson, an honoured Canadian educator who the school was named after.

“I’ve been so swept up in the school by Chris Good (principal of Ecole Barrie Wilson) and the staff. It has been an amazing experience. It’s hard to put it into words the feeling I get with the accolades I’ve received when there are so many outstanding educators now and in my past.”

Wilson was humbled by the honour of having a school bear his name, and his family and friends traveled, some from Ottawa, to be with him to celebrate the official ceremony.

The day did not simply revolve around the new school, which has been in operation since Sept. 2nd. Veer said that the event has been years in the making as part of the celebration of the Red Deer Public Library’s 100th year of operation.

“This day is also significant because this marks the first of many to come community amenities in the northeast. Our community is growing and thriving. We’re one of the youngest communities in Canada so it’s imperative that we have new school infrastructure to support the growing needs of Red Deer families.

“It’s great to be able to participate in a project of this magnitude. Partnerships are absolutely essential to see our community dreams become a reality.”

Red Deer Public Library Director Christina Wilson was excited about the presentation of what she describes as a, “21st century library.

“Libraries aren’t just libraries anymore – they are a partnership with the City as a community space. The 21st century library is a place of people. We still have stuff and some of that stuff is material and some is digital. However, it’s a place where people can access information either on a digital or audio format, as well as community programs.”

October is Library Month and in honour of that event, the City will be releasing a book to celebrate the 100 years that libraries have served the City. Calgary and Edmonton each produced a book for the same occasions and now Red Deer has followed suit but with a small twist.

“We switched it up a bit and are doing a children’s picture book that will tell the wonderful story of that beautiful building downtown. Our centennial has been about connecting people to the history of our City – but now we turn a corner,” Wilson stated.