April 18, 2019 8:20 pm
Updated: April 18, 2019 8:27 pm

Community of Iron Springs breaks ground on replacement for Huntsville School

WATCH ABOVE: Another step was taken Thursday for the long-awaited school in the community of Iron Springs. Contractors broke ground on an upgraded replacement for Huntsville school. As Demi Knight reports, it's an exciting day for staff and students in the area.

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The atmosphere in Iron Springs, a small community about 50 km east of Lethbridge, was one of excitement on Thursday as contractors officially broke ground on the construction of a new school.

“I think it’s a community that has shown its versatility in reaching the needs of the students. But I think this goes beyond that,” said Dave Driscoll, superintendent of Palliser Regional Schools.

“They will soon have a building that will accommodate them into the future.”

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The $11-million project aims to replace the current Huntsville School which was built back in 1941. Over the years, the original building has seen some minor renovations, specifically since 2005.

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However, recurring issues such as a high water table and resulting drainage problems prompted the Palliser school division to ask for major upgrades. Soon after, in 2017, an entirely new replacement facility was approved.

“The building was getting older and maintenance was hard to keep up with,” Driscoll said. “Also, to accommodate the growing population here, it made more sense to get the ask for a replacement facility.”

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Solar panels, a kitchen for Career Technology Studies and a large gym featuring a flip-down hydraulic stage are just some of the additional elements the new building will see.

The new school also hopes to expand classroom space to accommodate more students, all while upholding the community’s rural roots.

“We have been very fortunate in rural Alberta that our programs continue to grow and we are supported by the ministries of education and infrastructure,” Driscoll said.

Though leaving the current building will be bittersweet for staff and students of Huntsville School, the move to the new facility can’t come soon enough. And with construction set to wrap up in the summer of 2020, they won’t have to wait much longer to start their new chapter.

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