Opening opportunities

2017-02-14 10:07
The new schoolhall at Beacon Hill High School stands tall on the schoolgrounds. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

The new schoolhall at Beacon Hill High School stands tall on the schoolgrounds. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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In what has been labelled as a dream come true, Beacon Hill High School continues to be a beacon of hope for the community.

Staff and former learners had much cause for celebration on Saturday as the school hall was officially opened.

The R7m project was completed with help from the provincial education department and the Archway Foundation.

The school managed to raise R250 000 towards the costs.

The hall was built in 14 weeks by Garden Cities, which established the Archway Foundation 11 years ago to address the lack of school halls in the province.

Two more halls are on the cards this year, at Portland High School and Parkhurst Primary School.

Glen van Harte, district director of the education department, says the school hall is not a luxury, but a necessity.

“I think every school in this country should have a school hall. Not because we believe it is a luxury, or that we do it because someone’s legacy should be fulfilled, but because we believe every child needs to know the absolute best way to present themselves in this world,” he says.

He adds that with the addition of the hall, the school becomes a beacon of hope more than ever before.

Archie Lewis, a former principal and teacher of the school, says with the hall schoolchildren have no more excuses to not participate in extracurricular activities.

“This building as it stands here will not help us churn out better academic results. I don’t want to speak of this as a building but rather as an opportunity,” he says.

On Saturday principal Greg Kannemeyer thanked all parties for their contributions.

“On behalf of the staff, pupils, school governing body and entire community of Beacon Valley I extend a hearty vote of thanks,” he says.

He adds the Garden Cities vision to provide halls to all schools would help them in teaching their learners discipline and allow for greater opportunities, not only for the learners but also for the community.

Jannie Isaacs, a board member of Garden Cities, officially handed over the hall and unveiled a plaque in the entrance of the hall.

Garden Cities board member Jannie Isaacs, school principal Greg Kannemeyer and former principal and now education department official Archie Lewis at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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