Change is in the air for schools next week

Plenty of changes are afoot for schools in Port Alberni next week.

Plenty of changes are afoot for schools in Port Alberni next week.

Alberni District Secondary School will welcome Grade 8s for the first time in its history while E.J. Dunn and A.W. Neill have been transformed to K–7 elementary schools.

Gill Elementary has closed and Eighth Avenue Elementary will be repurposed to house the school district’s alternate programs.

“We’re excited for the changes and the hard work that the maintenance crew has done over the course of the summer,” said A.W. Neill principal Darrin Olson.

“We’re excited for the new space and the blending of the two schools. We look forward to the new school year.”

Luckily, Neill hasn’t had to undergo many changes to prepare the building for the influx of younger students.

“Very few changes needed to happen,” said Olsen.

“We removed some lockers and put some cloakroom space in to meet the needs of primary classrooms.”

Neill’s technical education room won’t be used this school year but the home economics kitchens will be put to use by the younger students, Olson said.

Playgrounds have been moved in and adaptations have been made to the flow of traffic in the parking lots, Olson added.

Neill won’t be the only one with traffic changes; Alberni Elementary will no longer allow parking on Johnson Road from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will limit parking to  30 minutes on Helen Street on school days. Many schools have new bus routes and new bell schedules; check your school’s website or call them for more speciic information.