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Board Meetings
Excellence in Education

June 17, 2008

The Schoolhouse Project

The Schoolhouse Project is a partnership that includes Retired Teachers’ of Ontario (RTO) Grey Unit, Retired Women Teachers’ of Ontario (RWTO) Owen Sound and Area Branch and Grey Roots Museum and Archives working together to provide a setting where visiting students can study and gain an appreciation of the school experience of their ancestors. Preliminary work began at Grey Roots in April 2007 and the schoolhouse will become part of the Grey Roots Heritage Village, Moreston.  The project is a model for how the museum hopes to proceed with future development of its heritage village.

Funding has been comprised largely of individual donations from retired educators.  There have been a number of fund raisers including selling friendship pins, apples, books authored by members and a quilt raffle.  Modest grants were received from the provincial RTO and the Community Foundation.  Grey Roots Museum and Archives contributed the schoolhouse foundation and site servicing.  To date, half of the estimated cost of the building has been raised and fund raising activities continue.  

Bud Halpin has been a teacher of Construction Technology at Saugeen District Secondary School for the past eight years.  The most recent undertaking for Bud and his students was to play a major role in the construction of a replica of the one-room schoolhouse SS#1 Derby, at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives.  Bud took on the construction aspect of the project as a focus for his Construction Program at SDSS in 2007.  Bud saw a wonderful opportunity for his Construction Technology students to experience a unique and valuable “real-world” work experience that would enable them to use the skills learned in the classroom. The students pre-fabricated the framing panels in their shop at SDSS last spring and began site construction at Grey Roots Museum & Archives in September 2007.  Bud devoted a great deal of personal time to plan and organize.  His students arrived well prepared for working on an active construction site keeping safety in mind. The students, under his supervision, laid joists, built the sub-floor, erected the framing panels, and clad, insulated and wrapped the walls.  They also assembled the roof using manufactured trusses and prepared the roof for shingling.  Bud used his skill and passion as a teacher to teach his trade, coordinate his students and motivate the team to build the schoolhouse.

Bud’s program clearly demonstrated Bluewater District School Board’s Foundation for Learning. The values of quality, equity, partnerships, accountability and healthy and safe environments are promoted daily in his classes.  He also models our Bluewater Character Attributes every day in his classes and through his co-curricular activities.  He is an educator who makes a difference in the lives of his students.

“A real highlight for all of us has been watching the students of today helping to re-create a piece of the past for the students of tomorrow.  The contribution of Mr. Halpin and his students has been significant in making our dream a reality.”   Pat Farrar, Chair of The Schoolhouse Project Steering Committee

We would like to welcome, Bud Halpin – teacher, Brian Manser - Manager of Grey Roots Museum and Archives, Bevin Lougheed - RTO, Don Sankey – RTO, Jim Rackley – Principal at SDSS, and Myrt Heinrich, RTO/RWTO who will provide an overview of the project and share some of the highlights with you.  


Submitted to:
Bluewater District School Board
June 17, 2008
For further information please contact
Mary Anne Alton
Director of Education

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