Clearview Public Schools trustees have identified two areas of concern for area municipalities to consider when they gather for a convention later this month.
The board will ask the municipalities to seek support for the modernization of school buildings — Stettler Middle School, in particular — and for a fuel price contingency grant to relieve the burden of transportation costs.
Board members were responding to an invitation made during a June 24 meeting held in Castor with local municipal partners.
Municipal representatives requested that the board suggest possible areas for which they could act as advocates on the school division’s behalf at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) annual convention, running from Sept. 24 to 26 in Edmonton.
Board chair Ken Checkel said Friday that the June meeting had an impressive turnout, with representatives from most of the nearby communities, large and small, in attendance.
Last year’s division budget allocated $3.3 million for transportation; Checkel noted that a previous fuel grant program from the province would have relieved around $300,000, or roughly 10 per cent of that cost.
“That was very helpful, but they cut that program out a couple of years ago,” he said.
Checkel said the second request is primarily in response to concerns regarding Stettler’s middle school, part of the complex that houses the town’s three public schools.
In particular, Checkel said the school’s gymnasium is too small and can’t be divided up for use by multiple groups, limiting its usefulness. He said the school’s furnace, electrical and mechanical systems are also showing their age.
“In general, our schools are in pretty good shape,” he remarked.
The board passed a motion to communicate these items of interest with the councils of the towns of Stettler, Castor and Coronation, and if possible, to send delegations to present the items at upcoming meetings.
Trustees will also follow up with the counties of Stettler and Paintearth, who will have the opportunity to advocate on the division’s behalf at the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties Convention in Edmonton in November.
Checkel observed that the year was off to a good start, with a professional day held on Aug. 27, and with new superintendent Peter Barron bringing back positive reports from his first month on the job.
“It’s a very exciting time of the year,” said Checkel. “Everybody’s revved up and ready to go back.”