Construction won’t stop students’ transition

Grades 7 and 8 students are moving from the middle school to Ponoka Secondary Campus in the fall and on the off chance

Grades 7 and 8 students are moving from the middle school to Ponoka Secondary Campus in the fall and on the off chance the former high school’s modernization isn’t complete a plan B is in place.

After delays, approval for the school board to formally enter a contract with Shunda Consulting and Construction Ltd. has been given. Shunda will modernize the school’s gym and completely redo the interior of the south end.

“I believe the school is all sectioned off so the students can’t go in the area where they’re working,” said secretary-treasurer Joe Henderson.

Ponoka trustee Lorrie Jess is concerned the work won’t be completed by the time the new students move in.

“We’re pretty comfortable we can fit the Grade 7 and 8s even if the school isn’t fully modernized,” said superintendent Larry Jacobs.

The ebb and flow of transitional classes in the secondary campus means classrooms are sometimes left empty during certain periods. However, if even that doesn’t allow for all the students to have a place within the school, Jacobs wants to send larger Grade 11 or 12 classes to Diamond Willow Middle School.

Jacobs feels holding back the grades 7 and 8 students would complicate their integration into their new school. “That’s plan B. We’d rather send the higher classes than the lower ones.”