CARROT RIVER — The Carrot River school fundraising committee has reduced their goal to $1.5 million for amenities for the new K-12 school in the community, of which about $1.2 million has been raised.
Originally the committee set out to raise $2 million by the end of June 2021, which was planned to fund both indoor and outdoor amenities. By July, the committee had raised $1.165 million.
Due to the concern with completing the inside amenities in time for the North East School Division (NESD) school design phase, the inside items were prioritized with the remainder to be put towards outdoor amenities where additional fundraising time could be taken if necessary.
Kevin Trew, North East School Division trustee representing Subdivision 2 and the head of the committee, said that the updated goal of $1.5 million is made to reflect a more accurate costing of the project.
“Nothing has been pulled out of the plan, it’s just we didn’t have the precise costing at that time so we wanted to air on the side of being conservative,” Trew said.
“When we set the goal of $2 million we estimated some of the inside enhancements could cost in between $1.1 and $1.3 million… Now that the costing is getting closer to fruition it’s more like $700,000 to $800,000.”
He said with the adjusted numbers, the committee is “very confident” that they will be able to secure the funds.
The $1.2 million raised includes Carrot River Co-op’s $70,000 donation towards the project in honour of the Co-op location’s 70th anniversary announced earlier this fall.
“We have some significant corporate donations that we’ve already taken into account in our total that we haven’t announced publicly yet, none as significant as what the Carrot River Co-op contributed.”
Trew said recently the committee has been working on gathering specific sizable donations, as well as submitting grant applications which they expect to begin to hear back on in January or February.
Another possible impact to the fundraising efforts is the Pasquia Regional Park pool fundraiser, a separate fundraising effort in the community which is seeking $200,000 in upgrades to reopen the Pasquia Regional Park pool in 2022. As of Oct. 19, the cause had raised $139,617.
Trew said the fundraising committee for the school “took a step back” during some of the pool’s fundraising period, feeling that since the funds for the interior of the school was already collected, the school committee’s need for immediate funds was less pressing.
“The Pasquia Park Pool’s needs have kind of taken precedence in the community over the summer as it was a pending need that is something that needs to be fundraised for immediately.”
Planned enhancements to the school include playground equipment for primary and middle years, weight room, paved bus drop off/pick up zone, Kindergarten outdoor fenced-in learning play space, outdoor bleacher, upgrades to existing track, soccer pitches and tennis, basketball and pickleball outdoor court, applied arts shop, performing arts space enhancements, and more.
Donations may continue to be made at the Carrot River and RM of Moose Range offices. E-transfers are accepted. Donations are tax deductible.
“I’m just wanting to keep in people’s minds if they are looking to make a tax-deductible donation that they can before the year ends,” Trew said. “We would certainly like people to keep the enhancements to the new school in Carrot River in mind.”
The school is expected to open in 2023.