The students, faculty and alumni of Parkview Adventist Academy (PAA) gathered to celebrate the new building. The school has been in operation for this 2021-2022 school year but due to COVID-19 the grand opening of the facility was postponed.
“While we wish we could have done this before we started school this year. We recognized the historicity of this event and we wanted to make sure we recognized with more than just a zoom session,” said Principal of PAA, Holly Kay.
The school cost just under $5 million and offers a variety of new opportunities including a brand-new gymnasium.
“In Grade 10 and 11 I was in the old PAA building the school was great and all but you could tell the school has seen better days. I feel incredibly blessed to be in a new school building for my senior year. This place has allowed students to do more activities both inside and outside of school hours. The gym has been a favourite space in the new building. PAA has been able to host volleyball and basketball games in our own gym—something that we have not been able to do before,” said Ella Schafer, Student Association President at PAA.
However, Kay says the school continues to look for donations for a new athletic field behind the facility.
“While we have a lot to be grateful for, if you take a look behind our building you will notice a marked difference. Our athletic field is absent. PAA’s athletic program is a big part of making sure our students develop their whole person. Today we are asking for your help in making this field a reality,” added Kay.
Around 200 people were in attendance to celebrate the school. Tours of the facility were offered as well as a vegetarian lunch following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Among those guests was MLA for Lacombe and Ponoka, Ron Orr who said the school’s construction was a source of hope.
“We live in challenging times we really do times of social disruption, polarization, cultural crisis or transition which ever word you want to you use. The need for values-based Christian education has never been greater,” said Orr.
Orr said having educational options was very important to the Provincial Government such as the PAA.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor and Councillor Cora Hoekstra looks forward to seeing new Lacombe citizens emerge from the facility.
“With the opening on this facility Lacombe families will have those educational opportunities and the young people of this academy will mature into thoughtful active Lacombe citizens. So who are the benefactors of this building? Ff course, I’m glad the students but ultimately, our city will be a benefactor of what comes out of this building and we’re thrilled for that,” said Hoekstra.
PAA has been in the community for over 100 years and has a mandate to help students achieve academic excellence, accept personal responsibility for their mind, body, and spirit, and experience spiritual growth as they learn to serve their community.