Wednesday, 12 October 2011 15:55

Senator Gershaw will get some financial help for renovations

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By Rose Sanchez — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Prairie Rose School Division will guarantee up to $300,000 in funding for enhanced renovations and modernization of Senator Gershaw High School in Bow Island, but expects to provide only about $150,000 of that if community fundraising comes through.

The provincial government agreed to modernize the high school. Through the planning of the design, community and school officials learned the gymnasium would not be increased in size. Currently, the gym does not meet the specifications to host provincial competitions in volleyball or basketball.

At the Oct. 11 regular board meeting, school trustees heard a plan had been established to increase the size of the gym and fine-arts areas for an additional $300,000. The community has agreed to fundraise half of that amount, but the school division needs to guarantee to the provincial government it will cover the full amount.

The new gym will increase in size from 560 square metres to 630 square metres and have a higher ceiling.

“I’d like to propose we guarantee up to $300,000 from our capital reserve funds if necessary to enhance the gym and fine arts areas of Senator Gershaw,” said Trustee Stuart Angle.

“This is an opportunity to do something now, which can’t be done later on,” added Trustee Bob Wickens.

The $150,000 (or more if necessary) is available in the division’s capital reserves fund. That fund currently has almost $1.3 million in it, said Pat Cocks, secretary treasurer for PRSD. It accumulated from the sale of teacher rental units, sold off the last few years.

The money has the condition attached to it, that it can only be used for capital purposes, of which the upgrades to Senator Gershaw school would apply.

The board voted in favour of guaranteeing the funding for the enhancements. Trustee Arnold Frank said he had to point out the absurdity that “somebody would fund a facility that is inadequate for what you are supposed to do with it.”

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