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Ponoka Civic Building’s official grand opening May 24

There will be a ceremony, barbecue and tours

The grand opening of the Ponoka Civic Building will be held on May 24, starting at 2:30 p.m. with a formal ceremony.

The grand opening event is being jointly hosted and sponsored by Campus Alberta Central (CAC), the Ponoka Jubilee Library, the Ponoka and Rimbey Adult Learning Society, the Town of Ponoka and the building owner, Landrex Inc.

Following the ceremony, there will be a free community barbecue, facility tours and information displays about the history of the site.

The new building was built on the old hospital site, located at 5604-50 St.

The civic building is the home of the Ponoka Jubilee Library and the new Ponoka Learning Centre on the first floor.

Library manager Dan Galway stated in a release that the library has seen significant growth in daily library usage, program attendance and circulation of materials since opening its new location at the Ponoka Civic Building last fall.

“We expect this upward trend to continue.”

The learning centre is operated by Campus Alberta Central (CAC) in partnership with the Ponoka and Rimbey Adult Learning Society.

The upper two floors of the Ponoka Civic Building house the Town of Ponoka council chambers and administrative offices.

The town plans to develop the one-acre space in the southwest corner of the site into a park space and add a coffee shop on the main floor.

“The building will become an even more dynamic community gathering place that generates a positive economic impact for our community over the long term,” said Mayor Rick Bonnett in the release.

CAC plans to offer a heavy equipment operator certificate program in September 2019 and a health care aide certificate program by February 2020.

“Health care and agricultural programming are two areas that have been identified by the community and our First Nations partners for early consideration at the Ponoka Learning Centre,” said Stuart Cullum, president and CEO of Olds College and vice chair of CAC in the release.

Cullum says CAC is currently inviting Ponoka-area citizens to fill out a learning needs survey to determine what other types of programs it should consider offering at the Ponoka Learning Centre in the future.

The survey is available online at www.ponokarimbeyalc.com/cac-programs-in-ponoka.

Paper copies are also available at the Ponoka Learning Centre inside the library.