The ABC Centre in Abbey has received some provincial-level recognition for their innovative use of the former school building. 

When the school closed, the community never expected to see such a strong economic bounce back in the building. However, last week they were honoured for their innovative approach to the situation by the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance.

The ABC Centre was awarded the 2024 Economic Development Project for a population under 5000. Abbey Economic Development Officer, Jenn Biensch, was filled with gratitude to everyone who helped them achieve this point of the last decade.

"This project has been 10 years in the making and is really just a labour of volunteers' love that's taken a lot of time, dedication and effort to get to where we are today," said Biensch. 

The ABC Centre houses a variety of economic drivers in Abbey. It houses the local gym, a coffee shop, a general-purpose meeting room, a snooker and games room, a community-operated thrift store, the local library, and a newly opened daycare facility. 

"That's been a big project," said Biensch. "It's so nice to see children roaming the halls again."

All these efforts earned them the award, as it shows there is always room for growth in these communities. With a population of around 130 people, this community refuses to capitulate and fights to thrive and grow. 

Some believed that when the school closed, it may spell the end for Abbey. The ABC Centre gave the facility new wings, allowing them to continue to benefit even after the school ceased operations. 

"(The school closing) was really devastating for everybody," recalled Biensch. "But we've taken lemons and made lemonade out of a really big devastation to our community."