July 14, 2024

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Prairie Rose opens new building for specialized programming

2 min read

Local Journalism Initiative on June 20, 2024.

Superintendent Reagan Weeks cuts the ribbon surrounded by parents, students and staff outside the South Alberta Collegiate learning facility.–News Photo Anna Smith

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Prairie Rose Public Schools opened the doors to its new South Alberta Collegiate learning facility in Medicine Hat on Wednesday, a place where specialty programming will be created and executed.

The building, formerly used to hold tractors, said superintendent Reagan Weeks, is a space for students from throughout the wide area of the division’s schools to come for various learning opportunities.

“Our Flight Academy will spend a lot of time here in the mornings. And then throughout the afternoons various athletic programs will be utilizing the large turf area,” said Weeks. “We’re looking forward to expanding our partnership with HALO and providing some emergency services training. And so we have a big vision for this place and lots of dreams.”

The facility already features a dedicated aircraft maintenance and engineering room, a large turf area for various sports, as well as shooting lanes and synthetic ice. The front of the building hosts a study area, allowing students to receive support from teachers while taking independent courses.

One of the biggest drives for the building, said Weeks, was space.

“Part of what happened is just the population of our schools grew. And so we were out of space, we were no longer able to take any additional enrolments without securing new classroom space,” said Weeks. “That was really the premise of this combined with our success in our collegiate application. And so that provided the funding that we needed to to bring this to fruition, and here we are today. We’re really looking forward to September.”

Weeks took a moment to highlight and thank the many partners who helped to make both the collegiate status and the programs that found a new home there a reality.

“It’s critical that I emphasize none of this would be possible without our partnership with Super T aviation, we have a collaboration with HALO,” said Weeks. “We have collaborated with Medicine Hat College, we have collaborated with SAID, Willie Desjardins, Greg Morrison with the Mavericks School of Baseball. Cypress County and Bow Island for fire and rescue, and so without those connections to the larger community, we would never be able to offer that kind of programming for students.”

The project has been in the works for months, and is a point of pride not only for division staff and teachers, but for the students, who were present to give tours of the new building that they will be using for their specialized programming.

“I think it has been really motivating and exciting for those kids. So that’s what we’re most happy about,” said Weeks.


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