Elk Island Catholic Schools (EICS) has made a big improvement to their services.
 
For about five years, the school board has been working towards building a new, centralized facility in Strathcona County. Previously, they were operating out of several different sites, such as a transportation shop, maintenance yard, central office building and an IT shop.
 
"We have gotten rid of all those other locations and now we've consolidated everything into one building," explained Ryan Stierman, secretary treasurer for EICS.
 
Their outreach school, the St. Isadora Learning Centre, is now operating out of the building. The facility is currently serving about 1,250 students.
 
After 20 months of construction, the total cost of the building was around $15 million. The division was able to sell many of its assets to the county to help pay for the project. Alberta Capital Finance also loaned them about $9.8 million at a fixed rate of 3.24 per cent.
 
By combining all of their operations and not having to lease different buildings and pay different utilities, EICS is anticipating they are going to save around $481,000 each year. With the building set to cost approximately $531,000 a year, the board only has to pay an additional $50,000.
 
Families and staff using the facility were not impacted financially by the move.
 
"The work that we do here ultimately benefits everybody in the school (division)," added Stierman. "This really is a community building that benefits students."
 
The new building was first moved into in November. The official grand opening was held in January.

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