June 18th, 2024

MHCBE board discusses future of McCoy theatre

By Samantha Johnson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 22, 2023.


Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education superintendent Dr. Dwayne Zarichny gave a strategic priorities update to the board at the boards regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

An overview of the plan was presented to the board as a number of performance measures and goals have been met.

The four priorities are Catholicity, health and wellness, quality teaching and learning, and facility consolidation. There is a four-year plan for 2022-2026 that is adjusted annually.

A long discussion around fundraising for a theatre at McCoy ensued at the end of the presentation. Zarichny reached out to some vendors but only found one willing to take on the project and suggested completing a feasibility study with an estimated cost of $28,350.

Trustee David Leahy was in favour of the expenditure of the necessary money for the preliminary study.

Trustee Reverend Robert Risling asked for clarification on if the idea was to fundraise for the theatre, because of the uncertainty if money will be forthcoming from the government. The theatre cost is projected to be about $8-9 million, and the vendor was estimating $3-4 million could be raised. Zarichny replied the initial goal would be to build the theatre, but in such a way additions could be made in the future. Risling’s concern was enough money would not be raised and would the board be happy with the project if that was the case.

Leahy jumped in and outlined some of the numbers, including fundraising by Friends of McCoy.

“Even if we get the project, and if we do some fundraising, it will help pay for some of the enhancements we can put in,” stated Leahy. “If we don’t get the project, and hopefully this board continues to have as a strategic priority the construction of a theatre, then we’ll be on our way to raising the funds for that theatre.”

Zarichny believes the upside is if MHCBE does get the project, it will have a collapsible floor that can be used as additional gym space. He believes the feasibility study would be well worth it because the board will know if the fundraising can be done and how much can be raised.

There was further discussion on where the money would come from to undertake the study and a motion was passed to undertake the study.

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