Waldeck School benefits from community kindness shown to visiting work crews

Forbes Bros Powerline Construction made a special $7,000 donation to Waldeck School on March 4 in appreciation for the way residents of the RM of Excelsior made the contractor workers feel welcome during their work in the region over the past eight months. Waldeck School Principal Harv Martinez, Vice-Principal Marv Parschauer, Linsday Stecy of Forbes Bros., RM of Excelsior Reeve Harold Martens, and Waldeck School Community Council vice chairperson Honey Martens participate in the cheque presentation at a school assembly on Monday.

An incident free work project left a deep impression on Forbes Bros Powerline Construction.

Forbes Bros was contracted to build a portion of the transmission lines which will deliver power from the 350 megawatt natural gas Chinook Power Station to Regina and area. However, their experiences working in the R.M. of Excelsior since July was above what they traditionally endure.

“No theft. No vandalism. No nothing. And that’s just something that we sat back and said, ‘hey, this community must have a lot of pride in it to not have any incidences,’” explained Lindsay Stecy, Community Liaison and Environmental Specialist with Forbes Bros. Powerline Construction.

“My construction manager was just blown away at how amazing the community was, so this is not a norm for us to do. This was definitely a special circumstance situation for sure.”

A contingent of 85 Forbes Bros. workers and 45 crew vehicles have criss crossed the R.M. over the past eight months, so they are clearly noticed while they go about their duties.

“We don’t work in an industry where everyone’s super accepting of contractors always being around. Sometime you’re not always as welcome with open arms because you’re the strange person in town. And it was really wonderful to be received the way that we were as a company. We’ve got a really heavy presence, our truck constantly driving around, we’re on people’s property, we’re on people’s pasture land with their cattle, and we’re in people’s fields with their crops. And we’re driving around all over the place. And we were always respected so good. Just driving down the roads everyone was always friendly and waved at us. People would stop and have conversations with us. The farmers would come out while we were doing construction and talk to us,” Stecy said.

“The RM of Excelsior was a very special situation for us, and we wanted to do something because of how good we felt about being here and how welcomed we were. So this is a special circumstance for us for sure.”

Forbes Bros. got in contact with Waldeck School to see how they could best show their appreciation. Their resulting conversations led Forbes Bros. to make a $7,000 donation to place an electronic sign in front of the school.

Waldeck School Principal Harv Martinez explained the idea for an electronic sign was initiated by last year’s Grade 9 graduating class as a legacy gift from those students. However the price tag of the sign meant they were looking at a two or three year fundraising time frame to make the project a reality.

When hearing about the project, Forbes Bros covered the entire cost of the electronic sign.

“It was pretty remarkable. It’s a once in a career phone call where somebody calls you up and says ‘hey, we’re looking to give you some money, what can we help with?’ And it just so happened that this was the right time for us,” Martinez said.

“Everything just kind of aligned at the right time. We’re lucky to be on the receiving end that’s for sure.”

Stecy said the project was an easy one to get behind.

“Any time the company is going to do some kind of a donation, we always want it to be something community related, something kid related as much as possible,” she explained. “And this need for the money kind of encompassed everything that we would ever look for in one.”

Martinez admitted that receiving the donation in appreciation of the kindness extended to the work crews makes the gift that much more special.

“To me that’s the most special part of the whole project. The school is on the receiving end of the gift, but the community is the one that’s responsible for setting the tone, for the culture, for the respect for the integrity, for the hospitality, for all of those things.”

“The neat part about the project is it’s going to benefit everyone. The village is going to be involved. The community is going to be involved. The school’s going to be involved. And so everybody is reaping the benefits of their work. We just happen to be the ones on the receiving end, which is pretty miraculous.”

Forbes Bros will be spending just a few more weeks in the area before wrapping up their work.

“So we just finished construction about three weeks ago,” Stecy explained. “Now we’re in clean-up mode. So now we’re driving around and making sure that we’ve picked up everything off of our right-of-ways, off the farmers properties, removing any of that stuff.”