June 22, 2012
Diamond Trail to be Jewel of East Welland Community
That’s how DSBN Chair Kevin Maves characterized the impact of the soon-to-be-built Diamond Trail Public School on the community at the official groundbreaking in Welland on Thursday, June 21.
“Diamond Trail will bring the community together. It will be a great thing for the city of Welland,” said Maves.
Welland Mayor Barry Sharpe agreed with Maves, pointing to a number of ongoing efforts to revitalize the community. “Diamond Trail will be the most significant ingredient in this recipe for positive change in the neighbourhood,” said Sharpe.
“I want to thank the DSBN and everyone who played a role in the decision making process for investing in this neighbourhood,” added the Mayor.
Over a hundred smiling students lined the field overlooking the construction site as the Board officially broke ground on the much anticipated project.
Diamond Trail, which is being built on the current Mathews Public School site, will be able to serve more than 350 students from the surrounding area. Once completed, the school will bring together students from Mathews and Crowland Central Public Schools. A number of students currently living in the Princess Elizabeth boundary area will also be directed to Diamond Trail.
As the official ceremony proceeded, a number of excited student conversations could be overheard on the field. “There’s a real buzz around the school,” said Mathews Principal Simon Hancox. “Students are talking about the school colours, what the mascot might be and all the different features that will be included in the school.”
One of the most unique features that will be included in the school is the expanded library, which is the result of a partnership with the Welland Public Library Board. The library will give students access to even more resources to support their learning, while also providing access to the public.
“We are so proud and so pleased that we were able to put this project together for the people of Welland,” said Sue Barnett, Trustee for Welland. “It is such an exciting project; it will be ecologically friendly, student friendly and a wonderful resource to the community.”
The importance of the school as a community hub is readily apparent in the school’s name. Diamond Trail Public School officially received its name on June 12, when Trustees supported the naming committee’s top selection. Located just 500 metres northwest of the new school, the site was one of the busiest railway junctions in Niagara. Known as the “Welland Diamond”, the site was where the two major rail lines crossed each other forming a diamond shaped centre. The name is historically significant because of the junction’s proximity to the school, and symbolically, the intersection represents the coming together of community.
DSBN Director of Education Warren Hoshizaki extended the Board's thanks to the city and the Public Library Board for their partnership on this important initiative and said he's looking forward to coming back to the site in a year's time to welcome students into the school.