A new facility set to open at the Community Learning Campus at Olds College next month will be named the Ralph Klein Centre, after the former premier who holds an honorary degree from the college.
The centre includes the new Olds High School and a Health and Wellness Centre, as well as other government offices for Child and Family Services and Alberta Employment and Immigration.
“This was always my dream to combine a high school with a facility like this,” said Ralph Klein, during an event at the facility on Monday.
“I am deeply honoured and humbled to have this facility named after me.”
The provincial government also announced Monday afternoon that the Community Learning Campus will receive another $750,000 in funding from the province.
An additional $750,000 is hoped to be raised through the Friends of Ralph Klein fundraising initiative over the next three months, with the help of Pat Nelson, a confidante of Klein’s and his former finance minister.
The money will be used to put a few finishing touches on the centre.
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach spoke at the event on Monday, saying that by bringing together the high school, post-secondary education, health and wellness, the fine arts and long-distance learning the community of Olds has created a “one-stop shop” for learning and wellness in Central Alberta. He said the CLC is a model for how public sector infrastructure can be brought together to better utilize expertise and resources.
In November, the Chinook’s Edge School Division board received the 2009 Alberta School Boards Association’s Premier’s Award for School Board Innovation and Excellence for the CLC project.
The CLC serves Olds College and high school students, as well as community members, and includes the Ralph Klein Centre, Bell e-Learning Centre, the Fine Arts and Multi Media Centre and community engagement sites, which link smaller communities to learning opportunities at the college.
The CLC is a joint venture by Olds College and Chinook’s Edge School Division in collaboration with the Town of Olds, Mountain View County and the University of Alberta.
The nearly $70-million project was funded with $55-million from the provincial government, plus Monday’s announcement, along with more than $5 million from Olds College and funding from each of the other partners.
Doug Wagstaff, vice-chair of the Chinook’s Edge board, said each new facility on the CLC campus is collaborative in every way.
“We worked together to create them and we will share these spaces and all the opportunities that they are creating,” Wagstaff said.
Students move into the new Olds High School on Feb. 22.