MRU shares learning spaces with students from southeast Calgary high school after fire
by Riggs Zyrille Vergara, Publishing Editor
After a fire damaged the South high school campus of the Foundations for the Future Charter Academy (FFCA) in the southeast neighbourhood of Acadia, Calgary, Mount Royal University (MRU) welcomed its students and staff to use some of MRU’s classrooms, computer labs and recreational spaces until the end of their school year.
According to a report from CTV News, the fire seemed to have started from a storage area outside of the school, and it only damaged the exterior of the school.
Although no one was hurt, around 500 students were initially displaced and moved to online learning the day after the fire.
“Our thoughts are with the students and staff who are dealing with yet another major disruption to their education. After over two years of uncertainty driven by the pandemic, this event adds yet another layer of stress and anxiety for everyone impacted by it,” Jeff Wilson, the chair of the board of directors for FFCA, said in the same report.
However, FFCA created a partnership with MRU to let the academy rent 15 classrooms, two computer labs and two boardrooms in the university’s Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning, which FFCA students and staff can use until June 24.
“We are pleased we can work with Foundations for the Future Charter Academy during this difficult time,” said Mount Royal President and Vice-Chancellor Tim Rahilly in a press release. “Calgary is our community and we know the value of in-person learning. We are able to adapt to meet the short-term needs of FFCA, while minimizing interruption to our Continuing Education and spring session classes. We are doing what we can so that these students can complete their programs and be able to write final and diploma exams in the coming weeks.”
FFCA Principal Educator Josh Symonds feels incredibly thankful to MRU for creating this kind of partnership so students can finish their school year in-person.
“This space will allow our students to continue their complete program of learning, including all core and elective courses and be able to write final and diploma exams in a few weeks…[MRU] have worked many hours in a very short time to reorganize their own programs to accommodate our needs. FFCA has always been fortunate to have a great team of administrators, staff, and parents; this reminds us of the larger community of which we are a part.” Symonds added.
Back in 2013, MRU also assisted the Calgary Emergency Response Agency by providing aid for the victims of the Calgary flood of that year and providing office and meeting spaces to Bow Valley College as its downtown campus was flooded. MRU also provided shelter a number of families who evacuated from the Fort McMurray fires back in 2016.