Botha School re-opening postponed to Sept. 8

Work in progress – Construction machinery and equipment were still at work on Monday at Botha School  as the Clearview Division made the decision to allow the construction to be finished before the school opens its doors to students.

Work in progress – Construction machinery and equipment were still at work on Monday at Botha School as the Clearview Division made the decision to allow the construction to be finished before the school opens its doors to students.

While most students return to school Aug. 31, pupils at Botha School will head back to classes on Sept. 8 due to delays in completion of major renovation works.

“Clearview School Division made the decision to delay Botha School’s opening date this year based on the safety of our students and staff,” said Superintendent John Bailey..

This delay will not impact other dates of the school calendar.

“Christmas or spring breaks will not be shortened nor will the last day of school for the 2009-2010 school year be changed,” said Bailey.

“We thank parents, students and staff very much for their flexibility and patient understanding as we work together in helping our children learn.

Work to upgrade the aging Botha School building and prevent flooding problems began last spring.

“We are excited about the improvements we are seeing in Botha School and about how that will bring improved use and safety for all our students and staff in the building,” said Bailey.

“It enables us to continue our work and lays to rest some of the fears people have in the viability of small schools” said Peter Weeks, the principal of the school where enrolment stands at 65 full-time students from kindergarten to Grade 5.

Clearview received a grant of $1 million last November, delivered by Drumheller-Stettler MLA and Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden to upgrade the site, mechanical and electrical services at the school building that was built in the 1940s and to consolidate groundwork to improve drainage and prevent further flooding.

Funded from capital for emergency projects, $700,000 has been allotted to strengthen the ground to prevent flooding in the building and $300,000 for mechanical upgrading.

Serious flooding in February 2008 caused the major damage to the gymnasium that was closed for several months.