Grimshaw, Alta. is finally getting two new schools after complaining to the province for years about the deteriorating state of Holy Family School.
The Alberta government announced this week that it will spend $33.5 million to replace Holy Family School as well as build a single replacement for Kennedy Elementary and Grimshaw Junior Senior High School.
“We will be finally receiving a new school in Grimshaw,” said Dianne Lavoie, chairwoman of the Holy Family Catholic School Division.
“We have been lobbying the government for the past ten years or more for a new school. Our current school is in very, very bad condition.”
The existing Holy Family School is more than 50 years old.
Students were forced to deal with leaky roofs, bad plumbing and substandard heating while the board had funding requests turned down each year.
In early 2012, school officials were so fed up with provincial inaction they documented the problems in seven-minute video and sent it to education officials.
The move infuriated then-Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk and PC MLA Hector Goudreau sent the superintendent a letter suggesting that future lobbying could impede efforts to get a new school.
Today, Goudreau believes the controversy helped raise awareness about the problem.
“My colleagues and the various ministers at the time realized that had something had to be done in Grimshaw,” he said.,
Both schools are scheduled for completion in 2017,