One of Coquitlam's biggest high schools almost didn't get built.
For years, local parents advocated for the construction of Gleneagle Secondary, rallying for funding and even sold $2 cardboard bricks to raise $10,000 for the $25-million project.
Now, 25 years after the school opened in September 1997, the Talons are about to celebrate the milestone.
A special event is planned for April 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Glenagle Secondary (1195 Lansdowne Dr.).
There will be a fashion show, displays and — what will arguably be the highlight of the evening — the opening of a 25-year time capsule, which is locked with a key in the school's library.
"I am so proud of all the students that have passed through this school," principal Wendy Yu told the Tri-City News.
Yu said she doesn't know what's inside the impressive-looking chest and hopes some of the inaugural class will be on hand to open it.
On the chest is a plaque that reads "To be opened on the 25th anniversary — Year 2022-2023."
Famous actor an alumnus
Among those expected to be on hand for the reveal is the school's first principal, Bob Nicholas.
Yu hopes other members of the first graduating class will show up, too, to witness the opening and and gaze at their own hand prints, which are stamped on a wall inside the school.
Yu said thousands of students have graduated from the high school, going on to success in many fields including acting and even education.
One of the school's inaugural graduates, for example, Bryan Jackson, is a vice-principal at Centennial Secondary.
Another famous alumnus, she said, is Taylor Kitsch, an actor and model, who portrayed Tim Riggins in the NBC television series Friday Night Lights and Remy LeBeau (Gambit) alongside Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The school is hoping to see a good turnout for the 25th anniversary celebration.
Grade 12 student Thomas Sullivan, a rugby player and recent Leadership 12 participant, who occasionally dons the Talons' eagle mascot suit, said he hopes to be able to attend the event.
Many programs of choice
He said he is excited to think of all the students whose lives went in different directions once they graduated.
"There is so much diversity and possibilities," he said.
Thomas said he is also looking forward to graduation, which is having multiple events in celebration.
The convocation will be at the Orpheum, the grad dinner and dance will be at the Vancouver Convention Centre, and the after grad will be at the SilverCity Cineplex, where students will enjoy games, food, mingling and fun.
Meanwhile, Gleneagle is also noted for several programs of choice, including:
- TALONS (The Academy of Learning for Outstanding, Notable Students), for gifted Grade 9 and 10 students,
- Train in Trades Culinary Arts Program,
- JumpStART, blending humanities and the arts,
- and COAST, which combines combines academics with wilderness adventures
The 25th anniversary will include light refreshments and is free — all current and former staff, students and families are welcome.