CLARK’S CROSSING GAZETTE • THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2013
PSSD schools welcome students back to class By TERRY PUGH
Students in the Prairie Spirit School Division (PSSD) returned to class this week, marking the beginning of a new school year. For some, like the inaugural classes at Warman Middle School, it’s a whole new adventure in a brand new facility. For others, including students at Osler School, it’s the next best thing to a new school. A top-to-bottom renovation project over the summer has really spruced up the K-8 elementary school, according to Osler School Principal Audrey Kampen. The teachers and support staff couldn’t be happier with the result. “It looks great,” said Kampen at an opening day assembly on Tuesday, September 3. “We really want to give a big thank you to the construction crews from the school division and from Contech Construction.” The roof on the east wing of the Osler School was completely replaced over the past year. According to the PSSD office, the project started last fall and was recently completed. In addition to the roofing project, the flooring was updated and other improvements were made to the facity at the same time. While the renovations are
classified as a maintenance upgrade rather than a major capital project, the improvements included work throughout almost the entire school. The Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms, as well as the school office, science lab, washrooms and changerooms, and hallways were renovated.
The PSSD has several capital projects on the go. IWhile the Warman Middle School welcomed students on opening day, there are still some areas of the school that are not quite completed. The Practical and Applied Arts (PAA) theatre and portable classrooms will not be complete until later in the fall. According to the PSSD office, this delay was anticipated in the planning schedule. The Martensville High School renovation and expansion project is scheduled to go to tender in October, 2013. Stage 1 of Conceptual Analaysis Studies for two new elementary schools, one in Martensville and one in Warman, have been submitted to the provincial government, and are awaiting a response. The PSSD Board has approved a three-year Preventative Maintenance and Renewal Plan (PMR), which has
TERRY PUGH | CLARK’S CROSSING GAZETTE
Teachers, PSSD staff and contractors cut the ribbon to mark grand re-opening of Osler School on Tuesday, September 3 been submitted to the provincial Ministry of Education. The plan includes over 25 smaller proposed projects throughout the school division. One attached relocatable classroom for Venture Heights School in Martenvsille has been scheduled for completion this fall. Valley Manor School in Martensville, meanwhile, will have five relocatables added to the school facility. Two of these were delivered to the school already, but there is still work to do to make them ready for use by students and staff.
Audrey Kampen, Principal of Osler school
Osler School benefited from renovations
What can you do to get rid of wasps? Submitted by
Saskatoon Horticultural Society
Wasps are beneficial insects, even the ones that occasionally sting. They are busy parasitizing or otherwise preying on pesky houseflies or soft-bodied like caterpillars, some of which may be munching away in your garden. They are easily recognized: they have 2 translucent pairs of wings, are hairless (unlike bees), black and yellow or black and white, and 12 – 25 mm (0.5 – 1 inch) long depending on caste or type (queen, worker or drone). Of the several species found in the prairies, it is the paper wasps, hornets and yellowjackets (the ones that I call nuisance wasps) that you need to watch out for. As a social insect, they live in colonies ranging from less than a hundred to as many as 5000. You are probably most familiar with the large grey roundish papery hornet nest, suspended in trees, under eaves or from some other sturdy support. But other types of wasps like yellowjackets live underground or in an enclosed location. And yet others build open nests, not enclosed in paper. It is usually this time of year, in August, when they’re a nuisance, as their numbers are peaking and as they are foraging for food. Barbequed meats (protein source) and sugary drinks are sure to attract, as will soft fruits in the garden like strawberries and raspberries. I know it’s hard to do, but avoid swatting at wasps. A squashed wasp releases a scent that will bring their sisters on the scene looking for a fight. They will also defend their nests vigorously if you approach too closely or if they feel threatened. My first wasp sting, only a few years ago, was from a yellow jacket as I blithely sat next to a rock wall sipping a cool drink. It felt like an electric jolt, partly because of the venom itself but also because the yellow jacket, like the paper wasp
and hornet, can sting repeatedly. Fortunately, I only suffered temporary pain plus a small but permanent scar as a reminder. Others may react more dramatically – at worst, suffering a severe allergic shock. Control starts as soon as you spot a developing nest around your home and garden. Underground nests are more of a challenge to spot – watch for sudden appearance of wasps coming from the ground. The entrance is likely surrounded by a small pile of loose soil.There are wasp control products sold in spray cans capable of shooting great distances. Wait until dusk when the wasps will have retired for the evening. Stand as far back as practical and be prepared to make a quick retreat. Aim for the opening and give the nest a good dose. If it is a very large nest, you may have to repeat. If it is a suspended nest, enclose it in a plastic bag (after all activity has ceased) and tie it tightly at the top to prevent any survivors from escaping. Place in freezer overnight to completely kill the colony before disposing in garbage. Imitation wasp nests are reported to deter wasps from establishing a colony nearby. Wasps are territorial animals and won’t encroach into another colony’s territory. If you can’t find a nest but are still bothered by wasps, you can hang up a wasp trap to reduce their numbers. These are available from garden centres. Or a simple one you can make yourself starts with a 1- or 2-liter plastic pop bottle. Cut the top off an inch below the shoulder. Invert the top and insert it into the bottle (remember to remove the lid), lining up the cut surfaces. Take a hole punch and make a couple of holes through both the top and bottom portion on opposite sides of the bottle. Thread a cord through the holes to allow you to hang your trap. Next bait your trap. If hanging up in the spring, use a small piece of raw meat (protein
source; not chicken) with a little bit of water – you might even trap a queen this way. If trapping later in the season, halffill the base with a sweet liquid (sugar + water, juice, stale pop, etc.) plus a squirt of liquid dish soap. Once a wasp enters the trap, they have a difficult time
figuring out how to exit. Remember to empty the trap regularly – be wary of live wasps. Bury or flush the dead wasps to avoid attracting their angry vengeful sisters. One final tip: place the trap away from where you, your children or pets spend time.
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