Prairie Bible Institute, in its 87 years, has grown roots in Three Hills, that are too deep to be pulled just yet.
The board of directors of the PBI have worked hard on planning the future of the school, and have decided, at this point in time the institution will remain in Three Hills.
“The board has decided that the most viable option is to retain its 87 year old legacy campus in Three Hills, Alberta. It will continue to operate Prairie Bible College, Prairie Mission Aviation College and Prairie College of Applied Arts and Technology in Three Hills,” states a release from the institution.”
The board mulled over a possible three directions which included relocating in Drumheller, adding a satellite campus in the valley or keeping the entire organization in Three Hills.
According to Ron Berg, communications for PBI, the exploration was healthy.
“I think it helped the administration and board to think things through very carefully about where we are going and what we need to do,” said Berg. “There were definitely some distinct advantages to Drumheller, particularly in the Prairie College of Applied Arts and Technology, but there were challenges, as there are by staying in Three Hills.”
“That is why we were looking, but the board just thought right now, when you look at all the considerations at one time, it seemed this was the best option right now.”
He says the board is open to looking at the possibility of opening a satellite campus in the future but did not specifically name Drumheller.
“At this point the board has decided to stay in Three Hills. They are not ruling out the option at some point, of a satellite, but did not say a specific place. They really didn’t address that because it would take more research. What they really said is our current program is staying in Three Hills.”
He adds it is important to examine the business economic viability of the organization.
“Any time you have a bible college, or any college for that matter, these days you have to be constantly vigilant,” said Berg.
According to a release, an overhaul of the current campus is planned to improve student facilities and lower operational costs. Further innovation in program offerings and improvements will also be studied and implemented as part of the long term viability plan.
It goes on to thank the leadership of Drumheller for their cooperation in providing the school with good and useful information in this process.
Berg says it was an emotional debate within the Town of Three Hills.
“It was understandable, people were seeing everything from something close to their heart leaving, to what is going to happen to property prices. We have had, obviously, a very positive response from people here in Three Hills,” said Berg.