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Estevan Collegiate Institute monument site gets another addition

A small team of dedicated ECI alumni and a few who never did attend the school, but know a good project when they see it, gathered in the midday heat at the valley's edge on First Street last Wednesday to put another finishing touch to the Estevan Co


A small team of dedicated ECI alumni and a few who never did attend the school, but know a good project when they see it, gathered in the midday heat at the valley's edge on First Street last Wednesday to put another finishing touch to the Estevan Collegiate Institute's monument and memorial rest stop and garden.

The site, a few short steps south of where the former collegiate once stood, now has the former school's front entrance stonework fa├žade mounted on a large metal tub located in front of the memorial and graduate wall that was created from original school brick.

"We're getting closer to completion," said Ken McDonald, one of the driving forces behind the ECI tribute team.

McDonald was back in Estevan from his new home in British Columbia, to help with this most recent phase of the project.

The school served as the city's main corridor of secondary school power from 1912 to 1969, at which time the Estevan Comprehensive School was opened and ECI was transformed into the Estevan Junior High School until it too was closed and the school demolished in the early 2000s.

A school memorial scheme was launched through a reunion committee, and the work on the site has continued through the past several years to the point where visitors can now walk through the valley, climb up to the memorial rest benches and small garden area, or visit the site from the top of the valley on First Street by walking down a few steps, also retrieved from the former school facility.

The large school entrance stones with the school's opening date engraved in them were lifted into place thanks to equipment and skilled employees donated by Skylift Services, said McDonald, who was joined by another key ECI reunion and memorial park co-ordinator Larry Preddy and a few other volunteers that included Barry and Nathan Dies, Darren and Ray Delorme, Dave Saxon and Ryan Floden.

The work entailed a lot of sweat in the hot late summer sun, but the volunteers remained upbeat as they saw the results of their efforts taking shape.

"The tub was fabricated and donated by KRJ Custom Fabricating, F&L Concrete has helped out a lot and we'll be installing lighting soon, courtesy of Bob's Electric, who is donating the lights and the installation work. We'll also have some surveillance cameras set up too to reduce the vandalism incidents," said McDonald and Preddy who were viewing the nearly finished project in mid-afternoon.

"It's coming together," said Preddy in conclusion.