Local MLA and minister of education Rob Fleming and School District No. 61 board chair Jordan Watters were lending a hand Thursday afternoon during an announcement at Spectrum Community School to highlight improvements to district metal shops. (Rob Fleming/Twitter).

Sparks fly at Saanich’s Spectrum community school during announcement

School hosted unusual ribbon-cutting to highlight improvements

It was a different sort of a ribbon cutting.

Wearing safety goggles, local MLA and minister of education Rob Fleming and, and School District No. 61 board chair Jordan Watters used pliers to held up the opposite ends of a metal banner stenciled with the phrase Spectrum SD 61 Metal Shop as a plasma cutter sliced it into half as sparks fly through that school’s metal shop.

This practical demonstration at Spectrum Community School early Thursday afternoon was part and parcel of a provincial announcement about what the school district has called “an extensive renewal of its middle and secondary school shops over the past few years.”

The work valued at nearly $1 million over three years included upgrades to air extraction systems, the replacement of table saws with ‘saw-stop’ technology and the provision of new tools and equipment.

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The district said in a release that the enhancements will not only enhance, but also offer students a greater variety of career pathways, and increase their opportunities for hands-on learning.

“Support for shops has enabled the growth of student opportunities such as Youth Work in Trades, Youth Train in Trades, and Work Experience,” it reads.

Thursday’s event also drew local MLA and minister of agriculture Lana Popham, as well as representatives from Canadian Welding, Seaspan, Industry Training Authority (ITA), South Island Partnership, (SIP) and Camosun College.


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