Catholic Division looks to upgrade St. Mary and Holy Cross schools with next round of funding application

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education met for the first time in the 2023-2024 school year on Monday at the Education Centre.

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division has plans for more upgrades to Ecole St. Mary High School and Ecole Holy Cross, although exactly what those upgrades will look like has yet to be decided.

The division selected the two schools for submission to the province’s Minor Capital Renewal Program for the 2025-26 applications. CFO Greg McEwen made the announcement during the board’s regular meeting on Jan. 29.

“We’re going to take every opportunity we can to ensure that our facilities are renewed and in proper or working condition and operating conditions,” director of education Lorel Trumier said.

Trumier said the diminishing funding through PMR (Preventative Maintenance and Renewal) makes this program more important.

Administration recently received a letter from the Ministry of Education notifying them that the applications for the 2025-206 Minor Capital Renewal Program were open until Feb. 29.

The Minor Capital Renewal Program is for projects between $1 million and $10 million and can be completed in one to two years. Each school division in the province can submit up to two projects.

Trumier said every building in the division is over 35 years old, but they will continue to last if properly maintained.

“I’m sitting at Saint Mary here as an example and to have it built originally in the 60s, we have got a great facility. The bones are still good. We just need to maintain units like HVAC units, so we’re hoping that those capital projects will come through so that we can continue to do that efficiently,” Trumier said.

The last project approved was St. John Community School. The division was notified in early June, 2023 that the Ministry of Education has approved proceeding with the renovations. This was the second year for the program. The budget has been approved for $2,100,000.

The project will include renovations to improve the bathrooms, kitchen and library. Other interior upgrades include the replacement of boilers, roof top units, windows, lighting, doors, flooring, wheelchair lift, furniture, equipment, relocatable classroom roofing and surveillance are also included in the project.