Like the Biblical exegesis of the glory of the latter temple which shall surpass the former, it is none gainsaying that the present beauty that envelopes Ilegrams and its vicinity is nothing when compared with what it is used to be. The efforts of the old students in raising the status of the school to meet world class standards in terms of infrastructure have been remarkable and profound. Senior Editor, Alli Temitope readily presents the picture of the features of this 'mini campus' to our minds.
It was like walking into one of the better universities in the country when I walked into Ilesa Grammar School after six years of graduating as a student of the school. Illustrating the innumerable restructuring and reconstruction works going on in the school will lead to an underestimation. The works done in the school can only be appreciated when viewed by individuals who were once familiar with the structural patterns and outlook of the school.
Starting from the outward appearance of the school, you can hardly discern if the school is a government owned institution or in private hands. The school’s main entrance, fast fading in terms of attractiveness because of its old fashioned outlook has now completely worn a new look. The main gate is now more attractive, with the fence completed and well painted with beautiful combination of colours. Also beaming with alluring appearance is the beautiful bulbs that radiate light every night on the glorious name of the school well illustrated on some tiles and pasted on the pillars holding the gate of the school. These bulbs also produce light to the main entrance of the school at night. It aids clear vision at the main entrance most especially at night.
A foray into the school premises itself elicits series of surprises. Lying conspicuous to the visitor or entrant on entering into the school are the multi purpose hall, the old science building (a.k.a. Empire Building), the administrative building housing the offices of the principal and other administrative staff and a garden, all separated by the ever shinning asphalt on the road leading into the school. All these have now taken a new look. The school hall which used to be old-fashioned and dilapidated has now been reconstructed into a gigantic and beautiful conference hall with the floor tiled with an outstanding roof and modern windows. The doors are pleasantly wrapped in a beautiful colour.
Again, the ‘empire building’ has been given a new roof with colours. The administrative block also stands out as it is beautifully adorned with new colours. The garden very close to the school gate is now smaller in size and more attractive as it has been raised higher and painted, beautifully, in white and black. Virtually all structures in school have been renovated including the school library. These massive renovation works have further turned the school into a paradise for learning.
Also, there a new structures in place in almost all angles within the school. Some of them are a three classroom structure block and the Canon J.A. Akinyemi Memorial building popularly referred to as (ASOROCK). In the renovation and reconstruction process, the school field is not left behind. It has now been enhanced with a mini toilet behind the main pitch in order to avoid been ‘messed up’ by its users. Toilets have also been built in all corners of the school, an example is the one behind the Junior School 'B' principal’s office and another one behind the school field as well as part of the Senior School, beside the ‘empire building’. All these structures have gone a long way in facilitating learning.
Beside the structural arrangements on the grounds, there is need to emphasize what is on the air [on top]. Leading the pack here is the lighting project. It will interest all 'grammarians' to know that there are street lights all over the school powered by a big generating set. Again, some courts in the sports area such as the former basketball court have now been turned to a car park for members of staff and visitors alike. In addition and after several years of asking, the school now has a bus. This bus has helped in a lot of ways. Ilegrams is on the march!
Cleanliness, as they say, is next to godliness. Walking into the school, you will find some waste baskets where wastes are disposed. This has to a large extent helped the school to maintain a clean and healthy environment.
The school is also not lagging behind in the area of Information and Communications Technology as it now has a handful of computer machines for students. This is aimed at helping the students in their studies and as part of the curriculum. Also, in a giant step that would go a long way in putting the school well ahead of its peers, a communications satellite has just been installed to ensure that the school is well connected to the world.
In addition, and in order to boost their academic performance, lectures, conferences and seminars are being organized by different bodies for students. This has in one way or the other broadened the reasoning, intelligence and exposure of students.
This is just a summary of the things that have been put in place in the school both in the areas of academics and ensuring that it continues to take its pride of place as a leader among its equals.
Certain questions have however continued to boil in the heart of various individuals. The posers remain unanswered and they include one such as: who are the people responsible for these immense and seemingly unending contributions to the school? The answer is very straight, simple and direct. Many are those who have passed through the school over the past decades; they are referred to as old students of the school. These people are always moving with the burning passion that Ilegrams must remain outstanding in all spheres. For this reason, they have taken it upon themselves to contribute in their various capacities to the growth of the school both as individuals and as groups.
Individuals donates things day after day to the school, also sets after sets donate gifts to the school depending on their capacities. They believe others coming behind them should study in a conducive atmosphere, better than what they enjoyed while at Ilegrams. Another driving force that keeps the passion burning is that Ilegrams is great and it must continually be great in all ramifications. These great old students (individually and collectively) have done a lot to make the school great and are not in any way relenting in their efforts.
With God, on whose shoulders the proprietors and early tutors rested their hopes of a great school, and with the continued support and input from the old students, the train of Ilegrams will continue to go places. May God continue to bless Ilegrams and its offsprings!
Culled from Premier Magazine, a special publication of Club 2003, on Ilegrams at 75