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St. Michael's school part of province's school modernization program

A local school has been selected to reap the benefits of a $500 million school modernization funds promised in the 2013 provincial budget.

Infrastructure minister Ric McIver was in Pincher Creek last week to make the announcement that St. Michael’s school would be one of 70 Alberta schools slated for modernization work.

“This is the result of us going out and talking to school boards and communities to find out what their priorities are,” McIver said. “The future is all about children, and preparing them. If Alberta is going to continue to lead the world in the future, we need to equip our children to lead.”

The 2013 budget set aside $1.4 Billion dollars for infrastructure spending on capital projects, with nearly a third going towards building 50 new schools and modernizing 70 existing ones.

“It’s great to have provincial funding flowing back into our community,” said Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg, on hand for the announcement.

Principal Don Kuchison said that the program will keep the school operating at a high level for the foreseeable future.

“What modernization allows us to do is to keep some of the things we like in our school, as well as improve things,” he said.

While no details were available on what exactly will be modernized at St. Michael’s, Kuchison said that improvement plans have been in the works for some time.

“We met several years ago as a team and a plan was drawn up,” he said. “It certainly will give us an idea of the direction the renovations could go.”

McIver said that the response he’s seen from his time on the road making these announcements proves that the action is timely and wanted.

“This reinforces that we’re doing the right thing,” he said. “When we’re investing in infrastructure for Albertans, it matters. This isn’t something that the government isn’t doing to Albertans, it’s something the government is doing with Albertans and for Albertans.”

The renovations are expected to be complete in 2016.

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