Public views TroVal Modernization plans



Schools are not made to wear out, but they do.
That's why, after decades of intensive use, the provincial government is pouring millions into the Trochu Valley School.
Cue the actors in this vital community play—Don Hartman, Golden Hills School Division facilities manager, Simon Cruz, the effervescent Calgary architect, and Principal Debbie Barkman.
With the school year winding down in a few weeks, the biggest building project to hit town in decades is poised for a two-year run, complete with new everything—spaces, classrooms, gym, offices, walls, and colors. The project, designed to focus on interior renovation and innovation, stops short of a complete removal and replacement.
And just to make sure everyone is on the same page, Barkman, Hartman, and Cruz staged a community information session late last week. Come and look at the drawings. Have a coffee and cookie. Here's a sample of the exterior color scheme. Yes, that area will get plenty of natural light, and a ramp instead of stairs here and there's moveable partitions between classes, and the bus zone will pretty much stay where it is.
It wasn't a full house last week, only 30 present—staff, faculty, former employees, a handful of students too young to realize the significance of this project to the community and to quality education, administrators, and community friends—but the questions were sincere, genuine and were answered by Cruz and Hartman in like manner.
Facilities Manager Hartman said the construction bill is in the $10 million range.
While the school gets its new lease on life, Principal Barkman will see her students spread over three buildings. That means retrofitting the curling rink with classrooms, having modular classrooms outside the curling rink, and teaching in the present Outreach School. Outreach School students are being placed in another building downtown.
The government of Alberta describes the TroVal modernization as one of 35 projects in a $550 million investment in school capital.