Students who frequent Marc Garneau CI’s back field may have noticed a few differences since the end of the previous school year. This June, four portables were removed from the field, leaving behind a significant amount of additional open space.
According to school principal Ms. Goldenberg, overall enrollment has decreased slightly in the past several years. As a result, two portables were supposed to have been removed in 2013. Instead, a total of four portables were removed all at the end of the last school year and given new homes at other schools.
All four portables had been in use last year as classrooms. Although they weren’t strictly necessary, the extra portables made juggling class sizes much more manageable.
“We’re a little tight with classes this year with the four of them gone,” said Ms. Goldenberg. “[They] just made it easier for us, but there were obviously schools that needed them.”
The loss of the portables, however, does open up new opportunities for the school in terms of athletics. When addressing overcrowding issues in the past, it had been pointed out how much of the field space was dedicated to housing the large number of portables. After the removal of four of these portables in June, the soccer goalposts were moved to increase the area of the track and soccer field to its proper size.
“There’s more available room, which is good since all of our class sizes are quite big,” said Ms. Libunao, a physical education teacher of Grade 9, 10, and 11 classes. “Our games are better.”
In the past, the field’s small size forced many varsity teams for sports like soccer and field hockey to hold their practices at community parks such as Flemingdon. With the new field size, not only is the additional space useful for practices and gym classes, but the school is also able to host more home games.
However, now that the field is in higher demand, occasional conflicts can result between gym classes and the home games that are scheduled during school hours. Nevertheless, students are excited to have the new space.
“Doing home games in the past was kind of embarrassing,” commented Emily Ford, a Grade 12 student and member of the girls’ soccer team. “It’ll be really good now that we can actually hold proper games. The difference is really noticeable.”