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Last updateWed, 18 Apr 2018 5pm

Province approves funding for new Delia School


    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.

Aging Wayne Road bridges in line for replacement

Alberta Transportation is looking at replacing Bridge 4 on Highway 10X, and the Town of Drumheller is exploring addressing Bridge 11 on the way to Wayne. mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

Just as famous as the historic community of Wayne is, so are the 11 bridges that visitors cross as they travel Highway 10X to the community. These bridges, however, are aging.
While some of the bridges are owned by the Town of Drumheller, others are owned by the province.
Anna Neale of Alberta Transportation says while the 2017 construction program includes bridge replacement work for Bridge 4 on Highway 10X, there are a number of steps before construction can start such as land acquisition, utility relocations, and permits.
“Once those things are addressed, we’ll have a better sense of when the work will begin and what it will involve,” she states in an email, adding that the existing bridge will be decommissioned and removed when the new bridge is built.
The Town of Drumheller owns Bridge 11 along the Wayne Road and Drumheller CAO Darryl Drohomerski says it has been on the town’s Capital Budget for some time, and they will have to revisit it.
“We need to actually look at it again this year because if we don’t actually get it approved, this is supposed to be the last year it should be in service, so we have been talking to Wheatland County to see how we can do some more funding for this bridge,” he said.
The Town’s Capital Budget allocates $1.3 million in 2018 for this, $76,186 has been carried over from 2016, and $258,814 from 2017.

Strankman ponders third term

rick strankman

While the next provincial election is possibly more than a year away, time goes quickly in politics.
MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, Rick Strankman, is nearing the end of his second term representing the constituency. He says while he originally stated he only planned to run for two terms, he is unsure whether he will put his hat back in the ring.
“I still haven’t made my mind up on that,” he tells The Mail.
He said there are a number of factors to consider including his age and the new constituency.
“The constituency boundaries, as you know, have made our constituency look like Belgium,” he said.
He adds whatever he decides to do, it is up to the voters.
“I don’t really think it is up to me to say in a definitive fashion, it is up to the people to decide that,” he said.
Since the last election, the Wildrose Party and the Alberta Progressive Conservatives have amalgamated to form the United Conservative Party.
“We are still in the process of amalgamating our board,” he said.
This means there may be a new procedure in place for nominating candidates at the Constituency Association level.
“They haven’t really set out the complete nomination rules, and that won’t properly be legalized until the founding convention,” he said. “But we are still going to have to find our way so to speak,
“I am just trying to be cognizant as we go forward,” he said.
In the 2016 provincial elections, Strankman defeated Progressive Conservative Jack Hayden by over 2,100 votes and NDP Emily Shannon by more than 4,600 votes.

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