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School division to buy site in Crowsnest Pass

lrsd property
Livingstone Range School Division will buy the former tourist information centre west of Coleman on Highway 3. The building and 4.62 acres will be used for education programming.

Livingstone Range School Division will convert a former Crowsnest Pass visitor information centre into the home of its outdoor pursuits programs.

The school division announced Thursday it will buy the 4.62-acre property and facility for $725,000.

“The board of trustees and senior administration are absolutely thrilled to acquire this amazing property,” school board chair Lori Hodges said in a news release.

“There are so many opportunities for our students to learn and grow right here in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta.”

The former tourist information centre is about six kilometres west of Coleman in the Crowsnest Pass on the south side of Highway 3.

The school board voted at a special meeting in August to buy the property from Alberta Infrastructure for the assessed value of $725,000.

The money comes from the school division’s capital reserves.

“We want to assure our stakeholders that no dollars will be taken from classrooms or salaries to pay for this project,” Hodges said. “No operational funding will be used and no cuts made to any programs to fund this new educational facility.”

Livingstone Range had used the property for its summer FACES education program in July and August.

In addition to FACES, the property is expected to serve as the site of an environmental education centre, international language centre and a pre-employment centre offering certification for first aid, wilderness safety, backcountry touring and more.

Livingstone Range students from across the division will use the site for field trips and outdoor activities.

The school division anticipates the centre will bring tourism, employment opportunities, and environmental stewardship benefits to the area.

“We believe that the economic, social, and environmental benefits to the Crowsnest Pass area will be significant,” Hodges said.

The Board of Trustees will use the facility for a meeting in September, and will begin the process of naming this new educational facility and planning for its grand opening.

Associate superintendent Chad Kuzyk made a presentation to the school board in April, following which trustees authorized administration to continue discussions with the province.

“It is very beautiful, but it also is very functional,” Kuzyk said at the April meeting. “A lot of the infrastructure we would require is already established.”

Kuzyk told trustees in April the site is also perfect for place-based programming that would leverage the Rocky Mountains and the outdoors.

That place-based programming could include ski instructor and ski patrol training, high school outdoor pursuits, experiential winter and water programs and environmental stewardship.

“Ideas are already starting to generate as we share this with our principals,” Kuzyk said. “This is just the beginning.”

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