There might have even been a hint of fresh paint wafting through the hallway air.
Barrie North Collegiate opened its doors to graduates, former students, community members, current students and their families, Wednesday evening, to unveil its massive addition and renovations throughout.
Construction at the school began in 2016.
The addition, which is shaped like a Viking ship in honour of the nickname of the school’s sports teams, includes a cafeteria and a library, as well as new classrooms and fitness facilities.
Patrick Armatage, from the Class of ‘91, brought his three sons along, two of whom now attend Barrie North, and they got quite a kick out of seeing their father’s graduation picture as well as their uncle.
“It’s amazing to see a lot of these old faces and a lot of characters,” Armatage said while looking at the class photos with his boys. “I was a lot younger and a lot thinner, but definitely lots of familiar faces.”
Gary Krausar, who graduated from the Grove Street East high school in 1986 and now teaches there, said it’s not quite the same school he remembers as a teenager.
“A lot has changed and it’s definitely a lot brighter now,” said Krausar, who has been teaching manufacturing at the school for the last two years.
“The teachers were much more staunch in those days,” he added with a chuckle.
Krausar said he likes what he see in the school these days.
“You see more kids interacting now,” added Krausar, who referred to the outdoor courtyard as the school’s own little ‘Starbucks’.
Peter Bowman has been the vice-principal at Barrie North for the last year and a half, but he was also a teacher there from 2003 until 2010.
“There is a palpable, positive vibe,” Bowman said of the student body since the renovations and addition were completed. “So when we went from the construction era to the first days when it was done, you could tell the kids were uplifted.
“They’re quite happy and they know it’s good,” Bowman added.
The school has a population of around 1,100 students.
The school has more natural light and more open space, as well as updates to a variety of departments, all of which address the ideas of wellness and positive well-being, Bowman said.