It cost $39.5 million, it’s called Waterford Valley High School, and it replaced the recently decommissioned high schools Booth Memorial & Bishops College. This week it welcomes its first round of nearly 900 students.

Waterford Valley — which sounds like a 90’s sitcom — has over 30 classrooms, all of which are wi-fi compatible. There are four science labs, two music suites, two art rooms, two skilled trades suites, two computer rooms, a gymnasium, fitness centre, a commercial kitchen, a learning resource centre…

It is located across from the Village Mall, where students will no doubt be spending their lunch breaks, among some of St. John’s finest. This has raised concerns over the fact kids will inevitably go to the mall, which entails crossing a fast-speed and high-traffic street.

“Access to well-developed educational infrastructure is key to attracting and retaining people to our province,” says premier Paul Davis. To which Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Susan Sullivan adds, “Waterford Valley High is the latest example of our focus on improving educational infrastructure.”

Since 2004, 14 new schools have been opened in our province, and 11 more are in various stages of planning or construction. 30 major extension and renovation projects have been completed, and more than 1,900 repairs have been approved. The math of the investment: $731 million in K-12 infrastructure since 2004.

Commendably, the school was “designed to meet the requirements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver level certification.” In a nutshell: there is an energy-efficient HVAC system using ground source heat pumps and occupancy sensors, charging stations for electric vehicles, and a 30% water reduction system.