Hanna Pri­mary School slated for de­mo­li­tion

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

It looks as though the Hanna Pri­mary School build­ing will be de­mol­ished in the very near fu­ture.

Prairie Land Re­gional School Divi­sion has com­pleted an ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tion at J.C. Charyk Hanna School and af­ter the Christ­mas break, K-6 stu­dents in the com­mu­nity will have a new home.

San­dra Beau­doin, of the Hanna Round House So­ci­ety was hop­ing to pre­serve the for­mer school and made a pre­sen­ta­tion to the School Board.

“What we were propos­ing if PLRD would give the school and the prop­erty to us, we would look af­ter the prop­erty, and that build­ing could be con­verted into a trades train­ing cen­tre,” she said.

She ex­plains the Round House So­ci­ety has had its des­ig­na­tion as a his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety since Jan­uary of 2010, and has a lot of things that need to be built to main­tain and re­store its prop­erty. She says they were in talks with other ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to in­tro­duce trade pro­grams, such as his­tor­i­cal car­pen­try and join­ery to the high school, and the for­mer Pri­mary School could be used a train­ing site for stu­dents who would be in­ter­ested in th­ese trades.

“The whole idea was to get trades train­ing in our J.C. Charyk School in or­der for the kids to do that on an ex­ist­ing build­ing,” she said.

PLRD has been suc­cess­ful in bring­ing post-sec­ondary train­ing into the school. In fact, her son grad­u­ated, with his power en­gi­neer­ing ticket.

“Our hope was to pro­vide an­other op­tion for other kids to ben­e­fit who may not be in­ter­ested in some­thing like en­gi­neer­ing, but some­thing like the trades.

She could see the project ben­e­fit­ing ed­u­ca­tion as well as tourism and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“We are go­ing lose our coal mine even­tu­ally and sup­pos­edly the gov­ern­ment was go­ing to be giv­ing money to com­mu­ni­ties in or­der to bring in in­dus­try to those ar­eas that are go­ing to be los­ing their coal mines, it seems like to could be a de­cent build­ing to uti­lize to do that,” said Beau­doin.

In the end, the board brought forth a mo­tion to turn over the school to the so­ci­ety, but it was de­feated.

“Given a short pe­riod of time, it is re­ally hard to get ev­ery­thing in place,” she said. “They were very gen­er­ous to al­low me to present the pro­posal to them. They were try­ing to help make it work.”

In the end, she said the town felt it would be too much risk, and were not will­ing to take on the prop­erty if the idea failed, leav­ing it in the hands of PLRD to even­tu­ally de­mol­ish.


Stu­dents from Hanna Pri­mary School, will be mov­ing into the mod­ern­ized J.C. Charyk school in the new year and the Hanna Pri­mary School is to be de­mol­ished.

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