Last week, E.H. Walter School received a donation of $800,000 from the County of Vermilion River for their school construction project on March 13, which will be used to add a stage and increase the overall size of the gymnasium.
“What it is, they’re getting a new school built in the village of Paradise Valley,” said Daryl Watt, reeve for the County of Vermilion River. “
“There’s going to be a new gymnasium on it, obviously, and a community group got together and decided if they could raise funds they would expand their gym, so it accommodates as a multi-use facility. Not only a larger gymnasium, but a town hall and community hall and everything that goes with it.”
The gymnasium will be able to host arts and entertainment, special events, sporting tournaments and community celebrations. The expected cost is $1.36 million with funds coming in from the Buffalo Trail School Division, the Province of Alberta, the County of Vermilion River and the Paradise Valley community.
“I think the idea of collaborating between the province, the school division, the County of Vermilion River and the community, the four way partnership, is a great model for collaboration to build facilities in smaller communities that don’t need two great big halls in the same community,” said Watt.
Vermilion River issued a debenture of $750,000 for the project with an additional $50,000 from Park Trust funds. The construction on the project is expected to begin this spring as soon as the snow melts.
Watt said the four-way partnership is an idea that hasn’t been used much but feels it’s an efficient way to go about these types of projects.
“It’s basically a new model, I don’t know, it might have been used once before in Alberta but it’s a model that hasn’t been used very often and it only makes sense,” he said.
There’s only one taxpayer and this way it’s only funding one building, not two.”