Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 7, 2002
Wainwright school rising from the ashes
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Memories of a destructive fire a year ago faded as Blessed Sacrament School began reconstruction of an $8.6-million K-12 school facility.
A student-led ground breaking ceremony at the original school site took place Sept. 26. Students, teachers, board of trustees, school district officials, and community leaders attended the emotion-filled occasion.
Some 500 students were relocated last year to four different sites after the autumn fire gutted their school building. Later that year, neighbouring school districts donated 19 portables that were placed in a parking lot adjacent to the town's old hockey rink and served as classrooms.
Superintendent David Keohane of East Central Alberta Catholic School Division, told the WCR, "It was a tremendous turning point for the school community. The students remember their school and I think they long for something more permanent and something that will really help us in realizing our mission in Catholic education."
The ceremony encapsulated the theme of resurrection, said the superintendent. "We believe that in every Good Friday there is an Easter that follows. We are a people of hope and people of salvation."
The superintendent felt "a sense of contentment and peace" now within the school community. "I can sense the students felt secure they will have a new school. And the community is stronger as a result of last year's tragedy."
Keohane was also grateful "students have learned significantly in an environment that is less than perfect." Blessed Sacrament School is presently being housed in 27 adjoining portables.
The construction team of Cavan Contractors Ltd. and Daryl Procinsky Architecture has already started the project financed by insurance dollars.
The completion of the new facility is expected as early as September 2003.