“Maybe I’m biased, but I think a school is the best investment you can make in a community,” said Reeve Brian Brewin.
At their regular meeting on April 8, council decided on the amount, along with an offer to supply the project with an amount of gravel, by passing unanimously two separate motions.
Fundraising is being spearheaded by the Building a Barnwell Community School Committee, who have been busy securing funds for the additions they feel would enhance the school and make it a true community asset. On March 25, the committee appeared as a delegation before council to discuss some of their plans.
The committee is made up of several local organizations and entities, including Horizon School Division, Village of Barnwell, Municipal District of Taber, Barnwell School Alumni, Barnwell School Parent Council, Barnwell School Parents for a Quality Education, Barnwell Seniors, and the citizens of Barnwell as well as residents of the M.D. of Taber.
The goal of bringing this many different groups together is to turn Barnwell School into a community school – a hub for the community which is open to everyone, all day, every day, evenings and weekends included. They bring together different partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities for children, youth, families, and communities.
Due to the time involved before the project begins, the M.D. has the option of pushing their donation over two budgets. However, M.D. chief administrative officer Derrick Krizsan said Alberta Infrastructure needs to have some idea of the planned enhancements and the money available by June 21.
“I don’t think they require the cash at that date,” he said.
“But they need to know there’s a commitment there.’
During discussion, Brewin spoke about the importance of schools in rural communities, and how devastating it can be when they aren’t supported or they are shut down.
“It doesn’t take long after you lose your school to lose every other business,” he said.