Thursday, 29 June 2017 08:00

Schuler is a rural community growing stronger with time

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The pages on the calendar seem to be flying by faster and faster each year. It’s already almost July, half the year is over, and milestones have been marked this past week with the final days of secondary school completed, the arrival of Frontier Days in Swift Current — a sure mark of summer — and now Canada Day soon to be come and gone just one short day from the writing of this editorial.

On June 24 the community of Schuler hosted a unique event around the school that represented a pillar of the passing of time for that area.
That community has been fortunate to be the recipient of a new school building that, once all is said and done, will have seen an investment of about $7.5 million.
The community has rallied around the cause fundraising hundreds of thousands of dollars for items for the new school such as furnishings. The area Drowning Ford Grazing Association stepped forward with a million dollar donation to ensure the new school building could have a larger gymnasium and other spaces that could be used by the community and be the envy for miles around.
The Saturday afternoon event held recently was a chance for people who have had some involvement with the school, be it as teachers or staff and students or parents, to come together and reminisce about their time in the building. They wandered the hallways and poked their heads into the various classrooms, seeking out familiar haunts amidst the packed-up boxes as school officials prepared to move over to the new space this past week.
What was most remarkable about the event is its nature reflects the very community in which it was held. There was little advertising about the come-and-go event other than on social media and word of mouth, yet people drove to Schuler from near and far to be able to say goodbye to the old building and see the new space. There was also people of all ages at the event from current students at the school to recent graduates, those who have now completed their high-school educations right up to grandparents who remember many activities in the building such as school concerts, but likely even attended the space themselves as children.
While there was likely some feelings of sadness about the loss of what was, there were more positive feelings of excitement and renewal about the new space that students will be able to enjoy starting in September.
The school has always been the heart of the area — especially as this rural community has few services or businesses to boast about — and the Saturday event proved that role has only grown stronger with the construction of the new facility.
Schuler can be an example to many other struggling communities about what can be accomplished when everyone has shared goals and works to see their completion.
The demolition of the old school building, set to take place later this summer or early fall, will bring some sadness for a few people, but a sense of renewal will be a breath of fresh air for many.
We hope the community continues to support its rural roots and strong ties to the school, as members have so successfully done in years past.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor