HIGH RIVER: Foothills County has committed up to $500,000 towards a proposed Community Hub which will be part of the Blackie School Modernization.
“This commitment was made because of the importance of long range planning for local rural communities and schools,” said Ryan Payne, Deputy CAO and Director of Community Services. “Blackie community and school needs make the modernization of Blackie School a priority.”
The ability to accommodate both modernized learning and community space within the footprint of the existing Blackie School for a Community Hub was determined through a Value Management Scoping Review conducted in partnership with Foothills County, Foothills School Division (FSD) and Alberta Education.
Further discussions with local Blackie community groups and Foothills School Division focused on opportunities and options for improved community spaces – the library, meeting rooms, community hall and commercial kitchen. The proposed design ensures accessibility and safety are integral with the development of shared spaces in a Community Hub.
Foothills County and Foothills School Division intend to work together to negotiate a Joint Use and Planning Agreement (JUPA) for the future Community Hub.
Council of Foothills County is supportive of engaged community groups such as Blackie Community Association, Blackie Community Hall Board, Blackie Community Library, Blackie & District Agricultural Society, Blackie Lions Club and others being encouraged to pursue public participation and fundraising for contribution towards 25% of the projected costs in support of the community facilities portion of the Blackie Community Hub School modernization.
Becoming resourceful about the proposed modernization of Blackie School and the inclusion of much needed community spaces into a Community Hub, showcases the importance of working collaboratively with community partners. The strength of the community is in the partnerships.