Prairie Land School Division (PLRD) has been approved by Alberta Education for funding to replace Delia School.
On March 23, Alberta Education announced it has allocated $383 million for 20 new projects which includes seven new schools, seven replacement, and three modernizations, as well as additions. Delia School was on the list.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” said PLRD superintendent Cam McKeage. “For the Village of Delia and staff and students, I think it is fantastic.”
Minister of Education David Eggen says education is a high priority for the province.
“Our government knows that stability in the school system helps students and their families, and we will continue to protect these core services for Albertans. We know that investing in education is one of the most important investments we can make in our province’s future, and that is why we will continue to make these important investments,” said Eggen.
McKeage said the school division has been looking at replacing the school for about three years.
“We have been quite thorough in the planning process and we have done a lot of work ahead of time in terms of identifying the needs and structurally that school needs replacement,” said McKeage. “We located the areas of concern, and we were optimistic a new school would come into place.”
The new school will be a full K-12 school and will be built on the site currently owned by PLRD.
“A rebuild is a lot better than a modernization because it does not affect classes,” he said. “It has been a top priority for us. We recognize the foundation was finished. It is actually a school built with portables, and the portables themselves have exceeded their lifespan as well.”
A budget has not yet been determined, and he explains there is no firm timeline.
“When the province makes these announcements, they see it as a four-year completion date from start to finish,” he said. “On the rebuilds, we are hoping that will be a lot quicker. The modernizations are usually slower, and the rebuilds are quite fast.
PLRD recently completed a successful modernization of JC Charyk School in Hanna.
“We have a very committed facilities director and all the schools in Prairie Land are well maintained and well looked after,” said McKeage
There are about 140 students attending Delia School.
“The population in the Ward of Delia is quite consistent and healthy. It is a great little village and a great community. Obviously, this will be a fantastic addition to the Village of Delia.