Visions of gym enhancements dancing in their heads

Jamie Heap
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The new West Highlands gym enhancement committee is well on their way to reaching their financial goals in time for school’s September 2014 opening

(From left):West Highlands elementary school principal Kevin Mapplebeck stands with students Emma Sianic, Isaiah Jones, Gavin Zerdzicki, Bialy Zerdzicki, Cameron Moreau and Steven Martin stand in a West Highlands’ elementary school classroom that shows the progress made by the new West Highlands gym enhancement committee’s towards their $181,836 goal; a replica cheque for $35,400 donated by the Town of Amherst as well as plans of the proposed gym enhancements.

AMHERST-While the new West Highlands’ school is not scheduled to open until the fall of 2014, stakeholders already have visions of their new school, which will feature gym enhancements, dancing in their heads leading up to Christmas.

“As you know, a new school is currently under construction that will replace West Highlands school,” stated West Highlands school principal and new West Highlands gym enhancement committee contact Kevin Mapplebeck. “The doors are scheduled to be opened in September 2014. We are extremely excited. We have proposed an enhancement to the gymnasium space that would allow for the installation of fixed seating. This enhancement would provide an area for spectators during concerts, performances and sporting events. This venue would add another state-of-the-art gymnasium to help service the needs of our students in our community, as well as community clubs, teams and organizations.”

On Saturday, the doors to West Highlands Elementary school were opened to the public as part of the enhancement committee’s Christmas craft sale that attracted 47 vendors. Two of those vendors were Dave of Jeanette Hebert of Amherst. They sold such crafts as angels and light-up snowmen lamps, something that Jeanette has been making for about 30 years now. Other vendors include Holly Martin and Donnie Blair, chair of the Springhill/Oxford chapter of the Kidney Foundation.

Saturday was also chance for past and present West Highlands students and staff members to reminisce while looking forward to the bright future which lies ahead.

“I can’t count how many former students I’ve talked today,” said Mapplebeck. “I’ve heard so many new stories about their memories of the school. So many people, whether they attended West Highlands or not, have a great affinity for it. Those that did attend it/worked here have many good memories attached to it.”

Earlier in the day, the gym enhancement committee held a successful breakfast at the Amherst Masonic Temple that raised an impressive $1,300 that will be added to the more than $66,000 that had been raised prior to this past weekend.

“The Masonic Temple says that they never seen such a successful breakfast,” said Mapplebeck. “It raised $1,300. We were up over $66,000 before the weekend began. We are hoping to be up to about $70,000 by the end of the weekend. When we do stuff like this, it never ceases to amaze me how increasingly generous Amherst is. The Town of Amherst donated $35,400 new West Highlands gym enhancement committee. We’re committed reaching our goal of $181,836 by the time the doors open in September 2014. The Town of Amherst can help people wishing to make donations to the enhancement by giving them income tax forms.”






Organizations: West Highlands Elementary school, Kidney Foundation

Geographic location: AMHERST, Oxford

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