Chilliwack secondary school's brand new campus opened its doors for registration Monday, but a dearth of back-to-school information left parents and students wandering around the new $58-million facility confused and frustrated.
The front and back of the school were still surrounded by construction fencing Monday morning with signs warning "Danger, Construction Area, Do Not Enter."
And the one side door made available for registration wasn't easy to find, according to parents and students who talked to the Times.
"We got lost," Grade 12 student Michael Lucyk said. "I didn't know how to get in here. I had no idea. We just wandered until we saw these signs and then just came in."
Information posted on the CSS website stated the new school would be open for registration this week but didn't direct students and parents to the Reece Road entrance.
"A nice gentleman in a Bobcat said, 'Oh, that door behind the truck,'" parent Cathi McLean said. "There was a big truck parked in front of the one door that has a sign on it that says anything. So without him we would have been walking all around the school."
Parents and students at the school Monday said they were equally in the dark about what would happen on the first day of school, just one week away.
"What are we supposed to do when we get here? We don't know," Grade 12 student Chandra Myers said. "We just asked one of our teachers, and she didn't know too much either."
One set of students school officials have kept well informed, though, are special needs students, according to mom Joselyn Lowe, whose autistic daughter Melanie Bruggeman is going into Grade 10.
The pair were at the school for a scheduled tour Monday morning.
"She gets a chance to see the different places that she's going to be going to, like the cafeteria, the gym, the special needs room to get the feel of it before she starts school on Tuesday," Lowe said.
Some CSS students did get information packages in the mail Monday, but superintendent Evelyn Novak said the school had to delay its mail-out because it took longer than anticipated to finalize plans around parking and traffic flow.
"I think everyone wanted it to happen earlier, but it took time for the partners to sign off on various pieces of it," she said. "There were some changes along the way and then it needed to go back to the drawing board."
According to the information in the student information package, construction at the front of the school-which will see a newly designed intersection at Yale Road and Charles Street, and the addition of tennis and basketball courts, bus drop-off and parent drop-off lanes and 150 parking stalls-should be finished by early November.
No date was given for the completion of the new turf field at the back of the school.
Until the front of the school is finished, students, staff and visitors are asked to refrain from bringing vehicles to the site.
To enter the school this week, use the side door on Reece Road by the Rotary Pool.
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