Although they didn't get any funding for it last year, the joint use school project for South Hill is still on the wish list for the Prairie South School Division.
The project was on their wish list last year. Prairie South Director of Education Tony Baldwin said it remains a capital budget priority.
“Every year, school divisions in Saskatchewan have to identify significant capital projects to the government for consideration in the next budget year,” he said.
One of the projects is a joint use school for Moose Jaw that they’ve been working on for several years, and the other project that is on the division's capital project list is for Bengough, which will either be a new school or a capital replacement for their current school.
The joint use school would be in collaboration with the Holy Trinity School Division and would be funded 100 per cent by the provincial government. Such schools are being built or have been built in Regina, Warman and Martensville in recent years.
“So, typically, the pattern would be that the government would identify where the schools would be the most necessary, and they would make an announcement either on budget day or in close proximity to budget day about those capital projects,” Baldwin said.
The joint use school was on the list officially last year and it remains a priority for the school board.
“We’re asking for the same thing that we asked for last year, because last year the project in Moose Jaw and the project in Bengough just didn’t float up high enough on the need level for them to be recognized for funding by the government,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said he doesn’t know about the cost of building new buildings, but he thinks the bigger piece is about the relative need for Moose Jaw needing a new school versus other communities.
“There’s a whole group of folks at the ministry who I think do a pretty good job of lining up all those requests and figuring out which ones are the most urgent and then they get at those ones,” he said. “And then the next year, they’re off that list and then something else becomes the most urgent next year.”