Tuesday was a banner day, or a plaque day to be more exact, at Wheatland Crossing as the school hosted a grand opening.
The first students actually moved into the new K-12 school a few kilometres south of Standard last April, but this is the first full year for the building that replaces schools in Rockyford, Hussar, Gleichen and Standard.
After more than three years of construction and years more of planning in the affected communities, Kathryn Stewart-Brown of the Friends of East Wheatland said it's gratifying to see the result.
"We came a long way to get here, a lot of effort, a lot of work and I wouldn't even be able to begin to count the volunteer hours that went into this project."
Stewart-Brown's group raised more than $1.2 million, including grants, for extras including gymnasium bleachers and a playground for the elementary school children.
"Such exceptional people to work with," she enthused. "Everyone willing to move in the same direction, which essentially was forward: there was no looking back and saying 'but what if?' It was always okay, this is our plan and we're going to do whatever we can to make it work."
"I give a lot of credit to the (East Wheatland) working group," responded Golden Hills School Division Board Chair David Price. "It really took on a tremendous amount of responsibility working with their own communities and bringing everything together. Once they made their recommendations and it fit within our criteria, we were off to the races."
Price thinks it's an excellent example for the next time someone builds a regional school to replace smaller rural ones.
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