Throughout the summer months, Paulsan had been working on a major transformation of a secondary school with Grades 7 and 8 (Port Dover Composite School) to a full elementary school. Lakewood Elementary School was ready for first day, Sept 3, 2013, providing classes from JK – Grade 8 all under one roof.
Paulsan was the general contractor completing the extensive renovations to the school for the Grand Erie District School Board. The renovations included transforming classrooms (for ex. science rooms into kindergarten classrooms), creating an art room, music room, library, playground, renovating school offices and administration areas, washrooms, and school entrance. The spacious double gym was decorated to a “beach related colour scheme” with sand colour walls, doors and trim in blue with a cloud white ceiling, and floors sanded and refinished.
After years of studies and declining enrollment, Port Dover Composite School closed last January for all high school students. Doverwood Public School closed in September, and remains vacant, when the renovated Lakewood opened. The previous high school is now a large, upgraded facility that will be a major benefit for the elementary school children.
On the first morning of classes Grand Erie District School Board’s Director of Education John Forbeck and Superintendent Wayne Baker were at the school to greet staff, incoming students and families. “The transition of Doverwood to Lakewood is important,” he said. “It’s an important day for staff and students.”
As the students settled in the gym to be organized into their classes, Principal Kim Cottingham greeted everyone and said “We’re celebrating a new adventure.”