McNaughton renovation plan another important step for Moosomin

February 26, 2024, 10:43 am
Kevin Weedmark


Moosomin is leaping ahead right now, with tens of millions of dollars worth of construction under way. The $14 million water plant expansion is under way which will accommodate growth up to 4,600 people, the $10 million airport expansion is under way which will al-low the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance to serve the region, there is an $8.8 million rehabilitation project at Moosomin Dam right now. There is a $1 million rebuild under way at the Moosomin Weigh Scales, and there is millions of dollars worth of commercial construction under way in town and in the RM just east of town right now, and more on the horizon. The Co-op grocery store and the Anytime Fitness Gym alone represent $11,550,000 worth of construction.

That more than $50 million worth of construction is under way right now indicates a very busy community that is growing and moving forward—there has never before been that much construction going on at one point in Moosomin and the immediate area.

The proposed $10 million McNaughton High School renovation indicates that the Southeast Cornerstone School Division is interested in keeping up with that growth. The School Division is applying for provincial funding for the renovation project.

It’s great to see the school division paying attention to issues in Moosomin, and addressing them. Last summer young reporter Ashley Bochek, still in high school at that point, wrote about the lack of air conditioning during a heat wave, a column that got people talking.

She pointed out the lack of air conditioning, the heat, and the noise of the fans, all of which were impacting students’ learning.

Shortly after that column was published, we had an interview with Keith Keating, the director of education for the school division, to discuss this and other issues. He said the division was looking at those issues, and I invited him to attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting in the fall.

In November, he, Trustee Devona Putland and several senior executives from the school division made a detailed presentation to the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce and explained issues and possibilities around the local facilities. There was feedback at that meeting, and at that time Keating promised a community consultation meeting would be held to gather more feedback in Moosomin.

Earlier this year the consultation was held and people were asked to rank their priorities for work on the two schools in Moosomin, and were asked if they would support applying to the provincial government for a renovation project of up to $10 million for McNaughton.

Almost everyone at the meeting was in favor of applying for the provincial funding.

Everything that was discussed at the community consultation meeting is included in the proposal, including air conditioning, which is what got the discussion started back in June.

The Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Committee and other groups are working on letters of support that will go in with the application, and the application will be submitted to the province this week.

It’s great to see this application going in, and hopefully it will be approved and some much needed renovations can be done to McNaughton.

When I came to Moosomin, the hospital was still in a low brick building the oldest part of which was 100 years old. The Southeast Integrated Care Centre was a huge step forward.

When I came to Moosomin, the World-Spectator was in a tiny office that was built when Moosomin was young. Now we have a modern, comfortable office.

When I came to Moosomin, the town office was in the lower part of a 100 year old building, the top floor of which had to be lopped off because the building was sinking into the ground. Now the town has a beautiful, modern office.

Much has changed about the town since I first arrived. The two-lane Trans-Canada was replaced by a new highway, the old Red Barn was replaced with a much larger and better building, Celebration Ford went from cramped quarters on Broadway Avenue to a great new building, the Co-op home centre and gas bar have gone from antiquated buildings to brand new ones . . . but if you took a photo of McNaughton High School then and compared it to now, you would not see much difference. The town has leapt ahead and it’s good to see the school division making Moosomin a priority.

Hopefully the province agrees and the renovation is approved.