The Golden Shovel presentation at Glendon School with M.D. Reeve and councillor Greg Sawchuk and Mike Krywiak, Glendon School teachers and parent advisory members, SE Design consultations, and Northern Lights Public Schools trustee Garry Kissel.
The golden shovel went into the ground and project construction has begun.
The Glendon Green and G.O.L.D. (Glendon Outdoor Leisure Development) project launched last Tuesday at Glendon School with a full day of activities, including a barbeque, dunk tank and series of games.
The project is a major upgrade for the school and village, which is forced to have their student-athletes train in the grass and on the streets, yet is a perennial contender in high school track and field.
The project includes an eight-lane paved track, two baseball diamonds, a soccer/football field, tennis and pickleball courts, beach volleyball court, basketball court, and areas for long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, javelin, high jump, and pole vault.
Glendon School athletic director Daryn Galatiuk said this project means everything and culminates his 20-year “field of dreams” of putting a track at the school.
“It’s almost started to become a safety concern with the amount of water that would come into the field on a yearly basis,” said Galatiuk.
“For things to come to fruition and for the sponsors to come and the support to come, it’s almost something I thought would never happen until I retired. For this to be happening now…I don’t even know what to say anymore. It’s fantastic.”
Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson and M.D. Reeve Greg Sawchuk spoke at the event, alongside them was M.D. councillor Mike Krywiak and NLPS trustee Garry Kissel – both former teachers at Glendon School.
Kissel remembered Galatiuk’s persistence over the years of building an athletic field.
“Mr. Galatiuk spent about a year with us and said we need to do something. We need a track. Of course, it’s a pipe dream, so I looked at him and said yes, eventually Mr. Galatiuk, eventually, eventually.
“He wore out a few principals, he wore out a few board members, and finally here we are. He basically just kept going and going,” said Kissel laughing.
The leisure development project had been in the works for years, but was bolstered by the M.D’s $500,000 sponsorship in December that essentially gave the green light to Glendon school to pursue the project after the Village of Glendon had contributed over $300,000.
The Glendon Parent Advisory is working now to fundraise for the remaining $300,000 needed for the project, but earned a few thousand from the students who donated to dunk their schoolroom teacher.
“Our parent-advisory has been a key aspect of fundraising. We have a sponsorship board going up in our field for people who donate between a diamond and bronze sponsor,” said Wanda Marsh, project coordinator.
SE Design contributed $5000 to the parent advisory council as well.
Construction is set to begin soon.