In the past month, returning Garneau students may have noticed that parts of MGCI have a new look. Since the end of the previous year, Marc Garneau’s cafeteria, gymnasium, classrooms, and library have been renovated. In June 2016, the school’s Budget Committee invested the funds in improvements that would increase the school’s safety and cleanliness.

Plans for the renovations began after asbestos was discovered under a broken tile in the cafeteria. Hidden behind walls or under flooring, asbestos is harmless. However, when damaged floor tiles expose the asbestos, it is a hazard. Over the summer, the cafeteria floors were stripped and replaced with new gray tiles. School principal Ms. Goldenberg, commented that she is glad the new tiles are easier for the caretakers to clean.

In addition to the new bleachers in the gymnasium, workers also installed new mats on the gym’s walls and change room doors. When asked about the gym renovations, SAC President Zaid Baig said, “I think the gym is simply amazing. It helps a lot with school spirit and during home games, we are a fresh looking team. And a year before this, our administrators invested in amazing bleachers, so we almost have a brand new gym!”


Over the summer, new mats were added to MGCI’s gymnasium walls and change room doors. Photo: Cindy Cui

The gym at MGCI is required to have mats along its entire perimeter. Prior to the recent renovations, the gymnasium had not met this regulation. However, with the new mats that cover the change room doors and bleachers, MGCI’s gym is now completely safe.

The library at Marc Garneau has also seen some changes. Ms. Mexis stated that all the computers, keyboards, and mice have been replaced. As part of the computer recycling program at our school, the old library computers were given to classrooms to replace older computers.

Finally, all MGCI classrooms that have requested for whiteboards will receive ones as the year progresses. Currently, some rooms have already had their blackboards replaced. Ms. Goldenberg commented that the whiteboards are easier to clean and do not inconvenience members of the school who have chalk allergies.

Students have also mentioned how impressed they are with the changes. “I’m actually pleased with the new appearances of the cafeteria and gym. It gives the school more of a modern style to it,” said Grade 10 student Joel Vidad. “As for the whiteboards, I hardly noticed them, but I guess it’s a great addition to the classroom.”

Renovations at MGCI are quite rare; the cafeteria has not been redone since the construction of the school in 1972. Other than the addition of the bleachers in 2016, the gym hasn’t been touched since its construction either. While planning for the improvements, Ms. Goldenberg said she chose to replace everything with materials of the highest quality to ensure the safety of the students.

“It’s because I have such an amazing Budget Committee that we’ve been able to save up some money for this,” Ms. Goldenberg mentioned. The administration of Garneau has other renovations planned, but no dates have been announced. The school is also waiting for additions such as a water bottle fountain won by Marc Garneau’s EcoTeam last year.