Board hesitant with costly project

The estimated $500,000 price tag needed to fix the parking lot at Ponoka Composite High School has caused Wolf Creek school trustees

The estimated $500,000 price tag needed to fix the parking lot at Ponoka Composite High School has caused Wolf Creek school trustees to rethink their earlier decision to go ahead with the project.

At a recent meeting secretary-treasurer Joe Hendersen told the board tenders were expected Sept. 12 for the project that includes a waffle cone fill underneath the pavement. The board had, at its June meeting, given the go-ahead to call for tenders for the project.

However, trustees are now voicing concern about the estimated cost of the project. “I’m not sure if it’s worth spending that much money on a parking lot when we are forcing elementary schools to do their own fundraising for playgrounds,” said trustee Bob Huff.

Trustee Lorrie Jess suggested developing and expanding the parking lot behind the school as an option that may involve a lesser cost, but Hendersen said the cost would be the same.

The board needs to revisit its decision to pave the parking lot, Jess said after the meeting.

“That’s a lot of money and we are short money for the modernization of Ponoka Comp and Diamond Willow. Those modernizations have to be our priority.”

She said the parking lot was previously used as a bus loop, but for several years, students have been parking in the area.

However, a natural underground spring has wreaked havoc in the area and vehicles are continually getting stuck.

Jess said temporary solutions such as adding more gravel do not rectify the problem.

“Cars get stuck there and the dirt and gravel that is tracked in takes the varnish off the floors. It has been an ongoing concern for years and years.”

The issue was to be discussed at the board’s Sept. 18 meeting.

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