Monthly Archives: October 2013

Enrolment up at Gull Lake School

By Craig Baird

If there was ever an indication that Gull Lake was growing, it comes from the fact that the enrolment has increased at Gull Lake School.

According to Chantie Champigny Lucyk, principal of Gull Lake School, the school ended in June 2013 with 293 children and now has 301, with three more arriving later this month.

With enrolment up, many are seeing it as a positive indicator of more families.

“Most definitely this is a good indication that Gull Lake is indeed seeing some positive growth. The school is not the only institution that is seeing some positive numbers. The Kreative Kidz Early Learning Centre is also seeing positive enrolment,” Mayor Blake Campbell said. “One only has to look around town and look at the houses that now sit on what were vacant lots up until a few years ago. Not to mention the new homes that have been going up on the new Centennial Subdivision.”

With a growing enrolment at the school, Gull Lake may become more attractive to builders and developers.

“One important indicator is whether or not the community is growing, and an increase in the school population is certainly a positive indicator of growth,” Campbell said.

Most of Saskatchewan is seeing a lot of growth, as well as an increase in the workforce. As long as this trend continues, Mayor Campbell expects the town to grow as well.

“As long as the provincial economy continues to grow, and the job market continues to see positive growth, I believe this trend will continue. However, it will take some effort on our part to market and promote our community as a good place to live and do business,” Campbell said.

Now that new students are arriving in the school, there is a need to move some things around to accommodate them.

“We are used to classes of 15 to 20 students, which is small. Now we have nine grades with more than 20 students,” Champigny Lucyk said. “It is really just moving in more desks and it means we don’t have a lot of empty rooms throughout the day.”

Principal Champigny Lucyk also feels that due to the proximity to Swift Current, Gull Lake is in a good position to grow.

“Gull Lake is community to Swift Current, with cheaper houses,” she said. “GLS is a beautiful facility and I believe it is a great place to go to school.”

Article Compliments of The Gull Lake Advance

  • Overall Enrolment Drops at Chinook Schools (gulllakesk.ca)

Kreative Kidz proving to be very popular

By Craig Baird

With spaces booked up into 2014 two things are certain. One is that Gull Lake is a growing community with plenty of families coming in. The second is that Kreative Kidz is proving to be a very popular place among children of the community.

“Our current situation is that we have had to start a waiting list for families that will be requiring care in the future. To date, we have all of our infant spaces full going into 2015,” Rebecca Anderson with Kreative Kidz said. “Our toddler spaces are almost full from July 2014 onwards. As far as pre-school spaces go, we seem to be filling those more all the time as well.”

In Feburary, Kreative Kidz sent out surveys to find out about the need of families requiring care in the community. That gave those at Kreative Kidz an early indication that things were going to be busy.

“It seems like we are getting busier all of the time and we are hearing really good feedback from the community,” Anderson said.

With so many looking to use the organization, talks of expansion are definitely in the air. Currently, Kreative Kidz is looking at designing plans for a permanent space and having a larger facility.

“Not only in the hopes of expanding in the future, but also to have more usable area that will allow our users to feel less enclosed,” Anderson said. “We have already applied for a temporary change to our licence for the months of October through December 2013 in order to accommodate an extra infant. We are going to research the possibility of whether that can become a more permanent arrangement or not. For now, I would encourage any new parents and expecting parents to give us a call and let us know their future childcare needs.”

Currently, Kreative Kidz provides childcare from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.

“Our programming is designed with an understanding that play is how children learn. We offer materials and experiences that are of interest to our children,” Anderson said. “Each day is full of opportunities for free play, large and small group activities, excursions within the community and healthy meals and snacks.”

One of the biggest parts of what Kreative Kidz does is serving the community’s needs, something they take great pride in.

“We are always looking for ways to involve the children in the community,” Anderson said. “If you or your organization have an idea on how to include us, please don’t hesitate to contact us.”

Article Compliments of The Gull Lake Advance

Oil and Gas Industry in Good Shape

By Craig Baird

Saskatchewan is quickly emerging as an oil and gas leader, not only in Canada but the world. In Canada, only Alberta has a larger oil and gas industry and roughly 13 per cent of our $45.922 billion GDP comes from the energy sector.

When the energy sector does well in Saskatchewan, the province does well. The good news is, the energy sector is doing very well in Saskatchewan and we should all be happy that the good times are continuing to roll for the province and its residents.

“It has been a great year. This past year, we set an all-time record on the oil production side. We produced more oil in 2012 than any previous year,” MLA Tim McMillan, Minister Responsible for Energy and Resources, said. “We also set a record on horizontal wells. We have seen a great transition to horizontal wells.”

According to MLA McMillan, Saskatchewan emerges as a stronger oil exporter with each passing year.

“We have seen our refining capacity increase in the past year as well,” MLA McMillan said. “With the record amount of production last year, the bulk of that oil does find markets outside of our province.”

Oil production is heating up across Saskatchewan, but there is great diversity with each area of the province lending its own unique piece to the energy puzzle.

“We have a province with great diversity. By the increases, the southeast has become very buoyant the past few years thanks to franking and unlocking the formation we have known about for decades,” MLA McMillan said. “On the west side of our province, the heavy oils make up half our oil production. On the gas side, we have seen fairly stable prices in the three to four dollar range. That hasn’t spurred as much activity compared to the oil side, but we have a great resource in natural gas.”

MLA McMillan sees a continued focus on horizontal wells.

“We will see a utilization of a technology which will increase in importance. We are going to see similar challenges. We are seeing more oil transported by rail,” MLA McMillan said. “Certainly, it has a nimbleness to get product to market in a timely manner. With oil over $100 per barrel, that keeps the economics very positive for expansion.”

For their part, the Saskatchewan government is working hard to bring stability to the market for the long-term.

“Our premier has spoken about it. I have spoken about it. Investments have been made in our oil and gas industry that are not short-term. We want Saskatchewan to be seen as a consistent province,” MLA McMillan said. “On a specific level, the work on the PTRC, we are seeing that the knowledge around that is increasing. We are collecting carbon right here in the province and that will open up more options.”

Article Compliments of The Gull Lake Advance

Search is on for heritage buildings

By Craig Baird

Gull Lake has a great deal of heritage.  From 76 Ranch to the many homes that have stood for a century, it seems like you can’t throw a rock without hitting a heritage building.

As a result, Gull Lake Town Council is looking at documenting the many heritage buildings that could qualify as Municipal Heritage Property, such as Guy Wong’s Shoe Shop, Western Financial, Clarendon Hotel, the Bakery, Sears, Conrad Apartments, the vacant brick building as well,” Blake Campbell Said.

To become a heritage building, a building needs to meet various criteria including;

  • An importance to the town’s history.
  • An important theme on the town’s past.
  • An important gathering place of the past.
  • A culturally or spiritually significant past.
  • An importance in terms of its architecture.
  • How old it is.
  • Its uniquiness.

Anyone who knows of or has property that should be added to to the list for review should contact Town Hall immediately.

“If someone believes they have a property that is eligible to be designated as a heritage property, they can contact myself or the town office, “Also, if anyone is interested in helping us with this important task, I would ask they consider sitting on the town planning committee.”

When a building becomes a heritage building it will be recognized for its heritage value, it will be legally protected, will focus community pride, and the property will be able to receive matching grants for various repairs.

Contrary to popular belief, a heritage property can be sold, does not have to be restored to its original purpose, and does not have to be open to the public.

“Our town is full of history and we need to do our best to presevr and promote our heritage property for current and future generations,”

Article Compliments of The Gull Lake Advance