The Holy Trinity Catholic School Division (HTCSD) held a board meeting on Nov. 20, which showed positive audit results and approval of their three-year facilities maintenance plan.  

The school division's audited statements for the 2022/23 fiscal year-end on Aug. 31 came back with an unqualified audit opinion from Virtus Group.  

Curt Van Parys, CFO with HTCSD explained that this means the reported information is following Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). “[it] is interpreted to mean a clean audit where everything's good - systems are in good order in terms of having appropriate financial controls and measures in place.” 

The board approved the audited financial statements, which were then forwarded to the Ministry of Education to be reviewed.  

“In that process there are typically a few adjustments or tweaks that the Ministry advises us to incorporate within the audited financial statements.” 

Final approval is expected this month, and the financial statements and the annual report for the school division will be combined for submission by Dec. 31st per legislative requirements.  

During the board meeting, the three-year facilities maintenance plan for the time period of 2023/24 - 2025/26 was approved, with a total of $3.7 million in spending expected across the nine schools and division office.  

Van Parys said that there was one point of change this year. “We’ve been approved for a minor capital program project at Ecole St. Margaret, and that has definitely had an impact in terms of our plans for at least the next two years.” 

While they received initial funding of $4 million from the Ministry of Education for the infrastructure repair project in March of 2022, market conditions and being unable to complete the project led to a shortfall in funding. While the case was successfully made for an increase in funding and a further $1 million was allocated to the project for a total of $5 million from the Ministry, the tendering process showed that the full cost would be closer to $6.6 million. 

"So we have a $1.6 million gap. In addressing that gap, we’re going to be utilizing Ministry funding as well in a different program – Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) funding to make up that shortfall. However, with that, we’re going to exhaust our Preventative Maintenance and Renewal funding, and that really doesn’t leave us much flexibility or room whatsoever to address facility needs at our other eight schools or other facilities.” 

Van Parys added that it is something of a concern, as they have other needs at Vanier for an elevator replacement and a water drainage project Christ the King School that they’re wanting to fund during the next two years, but they will seek to plan according to the funding allocated.  

Ward Strueby, director of education for HTCSD, spoke of the positive side of the planned St. Margaret’s project. “Breathing some new life in that building is something that the students and staff and the community as a while deserve." 

Of the $3.7 million from the three-year facilities maintenance plan, $1.25 million is for the project at Ecole St. Margaret, which is expected to be completed in 2025.

St. Michael School is in a similar position to Ecole St. Margaret, and they will be looking to make applications for capital funding for that school, as well. “If that is approved, that will alleviate some pressure in terms of the funds that we’ve planned for St. Michael in this three-year plan,” said Van Parys.  

The joint-use school in Moose Jaw’s Westheath subdivision is coming along due to the mild temperatures. “It looks like we should see steel erection sometime in the new year. There’s some steel that’s been delivered on site already – we've got elevator shafts and staircases that are either complete or in phases of being complete. Once that’s done, they’ll start looking doing the foundations and main floor, and then doing some steel erection on top of that,” said Matt Heisler, supervisor of facilities with HTCSD.  

He added that so far, they’re on track to meet the deadline for the joint-use school. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Discover Moose Jaw encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Discover Moose Jaw app HERE.