Richard Charlesworth, ISG’s Coordinator for School Improvement, lives on the Canary Vista Compound, right across the fence from the new campus. As a result, he has enjoyed a front-row seat to the construction over the past 15 months.
Is he eager to see the schools built? You bet. Not because of the end of construction noises, which he states he hardly hears, but because of the advantages to his three school-aged children. He has children at both DEMS and DBGS, and in the early years programs, the classrooms for both divisions face onto an outside court area. Children will be able to flow from indoor to outdoor learning activities effortlessly.
Admittedly, he’s also looking forward to the ease of getting his children to school, since it will literally be a hop, skip and a jump. “It’s only a twenty-minute drive from Canary to the Dhahran campus now, but I will enjoy having a little more time in the morning to get the children ready. And, of course, being able to walk to school.”
What has it been like watching the construction? “Very exciting,” says Mr Charlesworth. “You can really get a feel for what this campus is going to be like now. The buildings look much bigger and grander than I had originally thought. There is a real presence to them.”
He notes that his eldest daughter Charlotte, six, is particularly excited about going to the new campus next year. This might have something to do with the fact that he had originally told her the campus was being built just for her! Or that the swimming pool is very close to the fence from their house and Charlotte loves swimming. In fact, all his children are comfortable in the water and Mr Charlesworth is anticipating there might be some competitive swim meets in their future. “A swimming pool is not a normal feature for schools in this area, so we see it as an added bonus and a unique opportunity for our kids.”
Having lived in the area for two and a half years now, Mr Charlesworth is quick to point out the many possibilities for geography and science field trips nearby. The ocean is 10 minutes away as are the sand dunes. “I know this is an up-and-coming area, but I’ve quite enjoyed that it’s not completely built up yet. We’ve been able to take advantage of the natural landscape with our children. There’s even horseback riding not too far.”
Now we just have to make sure that Charlotte will share her new school with the rest of ISG!