Construction on the new Stewart Valley School has been halted for several months, and the community is raising its concerns for their children’s education. 

Since August of 2022, when the Stewart Valley School tragically burned to a state of disrepair, students have been riding the bus to the neighbouring community schools of Waldeck and Success, as well as OM Irwin School in Swift Current. Now, it seems that students from the area will spend at least one more school year displaced, many traveling over 50 kilometres each way.  

Lee Lanceleve, a councillor for division seven of the RM, which covers Stewart Valley as a special service area. 

“Dan (Barber) and I both are in the fire department, and we were some of the first ones here for that fire,” stated Lanceleve. “We fought really hard that day to try and save our school, and now we're still fighting. Two years later, we're still fighting to get something going.” 

The beginning of construction came in January, with the pouring of cement foundation pilings. Since then, no progress has been made, and many are accusing the contractors of the site, Quorex Construction Services Limited, along with the insurers, who are continuously adjusting the claim. In response to the accusations against Quorex, a representative of Chinook School Division stated that the company has been very supportive and patient throughout this process and they are not in any way responsible for any of the delays in construction.

“Our concern is we want our kids to get into a normal routine, and we want our community centre back,” expressed Lanceleve. “We lost our community centre, we lost our gathering spot, we lost the playground for the kids, and our ball diamond that has some Sea-Cans parked on it.”

The last construction reported on by Chinook School Division was the completion of the pilings in mid-February. On May 23, they looked to answer questions and concerns of the public, sending out an official release.

“The Chinook Board of Education is continuing to work with the insurance providers to move their process forward for the rebuild of Stewart Valley School. The board continues to strongly advocate on behalf of the rebuild project, while clarifying with the insurers the current construction materials in comparison to the original build and what is covered under the insurance policy.” 

The release went on to state they sympathize and share in the frustrations of the public, and that they will continue to support families and provide students other options for education. They expressed their goal is to return to rebuilding the school as soon as possible.

“We don't want to point any fingers or put the blame on anybody,” said Lanceleve. “We just we think people need to know where this stands. Lots of people think this project is probably nearing completion.” 

Swift Current Online will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.