Town considers potential of elementary school building

With major changes planned for Diamond Willow Middle School to become the new home of Ponoka Elementary School students

With major changes planned for Diamond Willow Middle School to become the new home of Ponoka Elementary School students, there has been some interest from the community over what will happen to the vacated elementary school.

Most recently since Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) approached the town to see if there was interest in leasing the building.

Superintendent Larry Jacobs said they spoke with the Ministry of Education before asking for the Town of Ponoka’s input. The school division would not make any money off the lease but feels it has long-term potential for the community.

“It’s a very beneficial lease to the town and other groups,” he said. “There might be some aspects of the building that would be beneficial to education groups.”

The other option is to tear the building down but costs and its usefulness were a determining factor in contacting the town, however it is going to be another year and a half before students move out of the building.

Town manager Brad Watson said at a town council meeting councillors have toured the building and the town is interested in its potential. Some community groups have approached him with their desire to use space in the building but he said it is too early to know what will happen.

“I suggested it’s an idea. Thank you, but realize that if the council chose to go there they are looking at it from a town administration aspect,” he explained.

There have been some instances of people coming to the school unannounced to tour the building, Jacobs asks those who are interested to contact WCPS before they do that. Jacobs feels it is something the town should be involved in and WCPS has sent an audit report of the building to the town.

The town has also hired a consultant to determine the state of the building.

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