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Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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New Lethbridge elementary school set to open this September

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – Dr. Plaxton Elementary School will be producing its own power when students  start walking the hallways later this year.

The school, in the Southbrook neighbourhood east of Fairmont, is nearing completion and the building has now been turned over the public school division.

Board Chair Christine Light says this new school is modelled after Coalbanks Elementary, but has some new bells and whistles.

“The thoughtfulness and intricacies of the planning and design is over the top. What I’m excited about is the theme revolving around renewable energy and the opportunities those will bring to students for global awareness as well and local awareness,” says Light.

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This is the first school in Lethbridge to have solar panels which uses the sun’s energy to generate electricity for the school.

The school was named after Dr. Robert Plaxton who was a superintendent for nearly 20 years. He also helped open the first school on the west side which was Nicholas Sheran Elementary and also had a hand in Park Meadows Elementary on the city’s north side.

The new school now has a principal. Erin Hurkett is moving over from Mike Mountain Horse Elementary. She says it’s exciting to see what this building has to offer students and teachers. “If you were able to see the classrooms we have doors than conjoin rooms so there’s lots of opportunity for different classes to collaborate and teachers to do team teaching. We have a huge learning commons area. It’s just a great space.”

Officials were told Tuesday (Mar. 23) that construction is both on time and a bit under budget as well. The construction cost was estimated at $20.1 million.

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The K-5 school opens this September and has room for up to 600 students.

Learning Commons area

One of the many classrooms

The gym which is not yet fully finished

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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