Go back to listings

Breaking Ground for a New School!

Posted on:

Breaking ground for a new school!

The building of the new high school in Onoway has begun! On Monday, March 9, partners met at the site of the new school for an official, and touching, ground-breaking.

Flexible spaces, an indoor running track, state-of-the-art technology and the infrastructure to support it, a Career & Technology Studies (CTS) wing and welding lab equipped to offer level apprentice-level training are just a few of the contemporary features Onoway High students will begin to enjoy as early as Fall 2016.

Partnerships create great schools.

MLA VanderBurg recognized everyone for their contribution:

“There is no ‘I’ in team. We could not have done this without the support of the town, the county, the school board and private enterprise in this community. Thank you for stepping up to the plate, that’s true leadership, that’s money coming out of your pocket, and your families pocket, that you have invested in this communit

The County of Lac Ste Anne and the Town of Onoway have been key supporters of the project from the beginning – doing their part to realize the vision of a new high school.

Onoway Deputy Mayor, Don Harrison commented:

“It’s a turning point for us, a number of years ago we got the elementary school and now we will have a new high school, a state-of-the-art facility and education to offer students from Kindergarten to graduation.”

Lac Ste Anne County Reeve, Bill Hegy also spoke:

"The future is what we can give all our children. Education is what is going to grow our county, more than anything else.”

At a brief reception following the ground-breaking, NGPS Superintendent Kevin Andrea joined partners in recognizing the collective efforts of the group.:

“Many of us here today understand the significant process involved in getting a new school. A lot of work, lobbying and advocating happens and our MLA George VanderBurg has stood with us, surmounting a fair number of obstacles along the way.”

Ryan Bourke of Academy Welding was one of those partners in attendance. Students will benefit from apprenticeship level training and welding because of the area that was committed by Academy Welding. A first rate Career and Technology Studies (CTS) wing will round out this impressive area in the new school.

A contemporary and inspiring learning environment for students now and 30 years from now: walls that move and tuck away easily providing the ability to adapt learning spaces, conference rooms where students can collaborate, hold meetings and work on Business 10, 20 & 30 projects, a library café that will function as a business and as a practical lab for business students – students will be learning the skills that we didn’t get until after high school.

The builders.

Project Architect: Dave MacGregor, Workun Garrick
Builder: Binder Construction 

OHS Principal James Trodden recognized our architect and builder who were also in attendance.

"Workun Garrick’s relationship with Northern Gateway began in 1958. They have been building schools in the division forever, they built the Division Office in Whitecourt. With the exception of the Onoway Museum, the firm has designed every school in Onoway. That is a working relationship and history that we are proud of and benefit from. We also want to recognize the uniqueness of our builder in Binder Construction. When we put the school build out to tender, we had many construction companies interested. We had a walk through of the current school and every single company sent their representatives. With Binder Construction, it was the owner, Duncan Binder who came out. He continues to come out, he attends all of the on-site meetings, he is in it and as we move forward we know we have the best team."

Principal Trodden also touched on what the new school means for the community and for everyone who has played a part in realizing the vision.

"This community did something inspiring. We’re going to build a great school and it is because of all of the contributions we have talked about today. You guys have changed, through this partnership, through the support of MLA VanderBurg and everyone acknowledged here today, you guys have changed the history of education for kids for the next 30 years. Remember that, a year from now, two years from now and a decade from now, you took a moment to take the time, to donate, to be a part of this – whether you’re designing it, building it, advocating for it – look at that building. There are only a handful of people that can say they were part of changing education in Onoway for kids for the next 30 years."

Last but not least

We could not have a new school, anywhere in the division, without the vision and support of NGPS Superintendent, Kevin Andrea and the Board of Trustees. 

Trustee Terry Slemko has been a leader in advocating, designing and garnering support for this project. At every step of the process, he removed barriers, inspired a vision and allowed the entire team to believe that this project would be possible. TES has dedicated his life to improving Onoway and our students are the beneficiaries.   

Alongside Trustee Slemko, we have NGPS Director of Maintenance Randy Lovich and Secretary-Treasurer Mike Gramatovich. Randy and Mike have been building schools and offices in Northern Gateway for 30 plus years. Without their knowledge, networks and expertise, projects like this simply don’t happen.

Follow the construction online!
Want to see what’s going on? You can follow the build of the new school here.



Breaking Ground for a New School!

A Family of School Councils The Magic of Google!