In the mid-1970s, Paul Gowans became principal at Westpark Middle School, and on Tuesday, he bid farewell to the old facility.
Gowans, who was principal from 1976 to 1982, was one of several former staff members and alumni who attended a 50-year celebration for the Red Deer school.
“I had six really good years here working with an outstanding staff, and the students and parents were very supportive. To start off at a school like this, and having that kind of support, really was a blessing,” said Gowans, adding it was his first post as principal.
After this school year, staff and students at Westpark will move into a new facility, built right beside the current structure. The old facility will be demolished soon after.
Gowans, who has also been a principal in Lethbridge and at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, said he was happy to take one last look inside the old building.
“I haven’t really walked through the school to see all the changes. The interior of this school is totally different from when I was here,” he said.
Dean Pasiuk, the school’s current principal, said Westpark Middle School has “served its community well for 50 years.”
“This place obviously holds a special place in the West Park community’s heart. There are a tremendous number of former staff and students here tonight, which is remarkable. It really goes to show how great this place is,” said Pasiuk.
People will be blown away by the new facility, he added.
“We’re really excited to get the new school opened up and ready to roll. We’re sure once people get to take a look inside there, they’re going to be amazed,” he said.