More than 40 officials, teachers, students, and citizens gathered Friday, March 27 at 11 a.m. for the ground blessing and sod-turning ceremony at the nine acre site. According to Christ the Redeemer School Division Superintendent Michael O’Brien, the site is ready to go and the division is looking forward to starting the project, today, April 1. Calgary contractor William Piersanti will be the general contractor and Piersanti told The Mail this is the seventh school the company has built in Calgary and area. “We are just finishing the Military Museum in Calgary, and we’ll be here about 16 months,” Mr. Piersanti said. Associate school superintendent Hands Woehleke emceed the event and introduced the St. Anthony’s School choir who sang O’ Canada, and they introduced the attending dignitaries. St. Anthony’s parish priest Father Mario Basque in his opening prayer, declared the school site to be “holy ground”, and blessed the worksite and those who would occupy the site. Readings by St. Anthony's students Spencer Aulenback and Lindsay Scott preceded remarks by Honourable Jack Hayden, Minister of Infrastructure and MLA for Drumheller-Stettler. Mr. Hayden was thankful for the hospitality he received and noted the “students are Alberta’s most valuable natural resource,” and offered best wishes from the province on the project. Drumheller Mayor Bryce Nimmo was equally gracious in his remarks, and brought greetings from his Council and citizens of Drumheller. “It is both a glorious and historic day for Drumheller, he said, and gave credit “to all the people who were involved in the planning and development of the project.” The present St. Anthony’s School in Riverview is over 50 years old and inadequate for present and future enrollment. The closing remarks were made by school principal Tim Gregorash, who noted the participants in the ground breaking were given a pick and shovels which was to honour the mining history of the valley’s coal mines. Mr. Gregorash noted the school was a “long time coming,” and was grateful to all involved in the building of the school, “for the opportunity given to our children.” St. Anthony's is expected to enroll 475-500 students once the new school is completed. Student Council Vice President Joel Mattatall, who ably handled his duties, standing in for president Cameron Dube who was ill, commented to The Mail that he was happy to have a nicer school to look forward to, and said “it’s great to have a new school and new equipment.” It is hoped the school will be ready to welcome its first students for the 2010-2011 school year.