Budget wish come true

Nathan Liewicki
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Holy Trinity receives funds to plan Sacred Heart upgrades

Sacred Heart School will be receiving part of a $4.1 million capital-funded pie.

Sacred Heart School  received capital funding from the provincial government in Wednesday's budget. the money will be used for a variety of upgrades.

“All I can say is our No. 1 wish in the budget was some money for capital,” Celeste York, director of education, Holy Trinity Catholic School Division (HTCSD) told the Times-Herald Thursday. “So we were really pleased because there weren't many major capital projects announced and ours was one.”

Noted by the Saskatchewan Government as one of the key infrastructure investments in the 2014-15 Provincial Budget, this $4.1 million allocated for education capital will be used toward planning for four major school projects, including renovations at Sacred Heart.

It was less than a year ago – April 18, 2013 – the HTCSD completed a stage one study on Sacred Heart, St. Michael, St. Agnus and St. Mary's.

To have the province set aside money for much needed upgrades at one of the division’s schools was something York was grateful for.

“They see the need here and we appreciate that they recognize there is a need and that they are supporting us,” said York.

It’s unclear what percentage of the $4.1 million will be put toward planning Sacred Heart’s renovations, but York noted the money will be put to good use.

“What we get from the ministry is funding to go ahead and do an RFP, hire an architectural firm to come in, look at our data, take a look at our usage, our programs and come up with a preliminary design,” said York. “At that point we go to the ministry and say here's where we are and here's what we think it will cost.”

York is hopeful there will be money in next year’s budget that will allow them to begin to work on roofing, drainage plumbing, heating, safety and electrical upgrades at Sacred Heart.

The earliest any renovations at the school will take place is July 2015.

The money will also go toward upgrading the programming needs the school has, which are quite different than they were when the school was constructed in 1959.

“When buildings are constructed they have a lifespan. At the time most of our buildings in Holy Trinity in Moose Jaw were constructed was in the 1950s,” York said. “Buildings of that area were given a 50-year lifespan and they are a little over that now.”

As for commenting on other educational elements of the provincial budget, York said HTCSD staff is still combing over it. However, she noted the $815,000 in new funding to implement Saskatchewan’s Action Plan to Address Bullying and Cyber-Bullying was an important investment.

The Times-Herald reached out to the Prairie South School Division for a comment on the budget, but all we received was an email noting they were not ready to make a statement at this time.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Holy Trinity Catholic School

Geographic location: Holy Trinity

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