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Loss of Bay d'Espoir Academy leaves local clubs homeless

Wendy Woodman stands guard at the elementary school in Milltown-Bay D’Espoir. The school gymnasium, also a gathering place for local clubs, was leveled in the fire. Woodman has been teaching an exercise class at the school for the past five years and now laments the loss of the vital facility.
Wendy Woodman stands guard at the elementary school in Milltown-Bay D’Espoir. The school gymnasium, also a gathering place for local clubs, was leveled in the fire. Woodman has been teaching an exercise class at the school for the past five years and now laments the loss of the vital facility.

The effects of Tuesday’s fires that decimated three buildings in Milltown will unfold for a while.

Wendy Woodman, one of the locals currently on guard duty at the site of the burnt out Bay D’Espoir Academy, has a singular thought when asked her thoughts about the loss.

“Exercise.”

The elementary school was not only a place of education in this town, it was also a gathering place, a social mecca of sorts in a small rural Newfoundland community.

“There is no more exercise class - that’s it, we’re done,” Woodman told TC Media Wednesday morning. “There is no where to go.”

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The school was a meeting place for several local clubs and organizations, all of them now left without a gathering place.

“It’s more than just a school you know,” said Deputy Mayor Clarence Kelly. “The men play floor hockey, the Pioneers meet here.”

And there’s Woodman’s exercise class.

Ten to 12 woman are a part of her class, which has been meeting there for five years.

“It was for mom’s to get out and just relax,” said Woodman. “To get an hour to themselves.”

patrick.murphy@tc.tc

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