The Andrew Education Centre is Officially Open!
On September 3, 2013 Peace River School Division celebrated the Grand Opening of the Andrew Education Centre, new home for the Peace Regional Outreach Campus (PROC) and Daycare.
Approximately 150 students, staff, community members, organizations and special guests were in attendance to share in the heartfelt celebration.
Special guests, Hugh and Sally Andrew (Hugh being the only living member of the Andrew family) travelled from Washington to officially open the new facility memoralizing his parents, Bill and Agnes Andrew. Monica and Allen Gardner, member of the Eugene Delta Rotary Club and long-time family friend of the Wittmeyers, along with Mark Allen, also a member of the Eugene Delta Rotary club made the trip from Eugene, Oregon. Local municipal, town and community officials were in attendance to bring messages of congratulations and share in the celebration.
“Dorothy and Grey would be very proud and honoured” said Hugh during an emotional and heartfelt address at the ceremony. Hugh also thanked the Rotary groups in Eugene and Peace River and described Rotary as a “giving and caring group.”
The move to the new building was made possible through grant funding from the estate of Dorothy and Gray Wittmeyer of Port Orford, Oregon (Hugh’s sister). Their wills dedicated approximately $650,000.00 in funding to a charitable project in Peace River in memory of Dorothy’s parents, Bill and Agnes Andrew. The Andrew family settled in Peace River in the early 1900s and felt a deep connection and fondness with the community.
The Rotary Club of Eugene Delta Oregon, who was responsible for organizing the process and decision making that would determine which charitable project would receive the funds, announced on March 30, 2012 that PROC would be the recipient of the Andrew Grant. PROC was chosen from six very deserving applicants.
“It was a no brainer” said Allen Gardner, Eugene Delta Oregon. “Carol Van Slyke gave a moving presentation and we are sure that Dorothy and Gray would be very pleased. Perhaps they are looking down smiling.”
The legacy of the Andrew Family is celebrated and honoured at the new education centre. Through the coordination of Laura Glour, Peace River Museum Society, historic panels have been created and placed in the entrance of the Andrew Education Centre that tell the unique story of the Andrew family. In addition, a local artist, Aimie Williams was selected through a competition process to develop signage for the building that encompasses the family history through art.
“I like the new building” says Denise Dutrisac, PROC student. “It is a spacious and calming learning environment.” A bright open learning area, culture room, foods classroom and kitchen area, modern technology and an accredited daycare facility are some features of the newly modernized building.
PRSD extends heartfelt gratitude to Hugh and Sally Andrew, Allen and Monica Gardner and Mark Allen for their generosity and support. Thank you to the students and staff at PROC, Rotary Clubs of Eugene Delta and Peace River Rotary and various community organizations and businesses that have and continue to support the important work of PROC. Special thanks goes to PRSD’s Support Services department for transforming the building and to the Board of Trustees for their support and advocacy of the unique supports PROC provides. Most of all, PRSD pays tribute to the memory of Bill and Agnes Andrew and Gray and Dorothy Wittmeyer, without your fondness of the area and generous hearts, a new home for PROC would not be possible today.
View a photo collage from the Grand Opening ceremony HERE.