Standard takes strides for village's future

·4 min read

Throughout its first 100 years, the Village of Standard has seen many changes-from the loss of the CP Rail train line prominent in the community’s development and the closure of Standard School, to developing a rodeo grounds and expanding the village’s boundaries with a new subdivision.

Closure of Standard School

Standard School opened its doors in 1959 for students from kindergarten to Grade 12. The school served the community as well as the surrounding villages of Rockyford and Hussar.

In 2016, Standard School’s final graduating class crossed the stage. Three years later, in 2019-60 years after the school first opened its doors-the building was demolished.

The village plans to use the site as the home of the new Centennial Park with work to develop the grounds into a green space for recreation and beautification ongoing over the next few years.

Opening of new fire hall

A grand opening of the new Standard Fire Hall was held in 2013. It was built in under a year at a total cost of $832,000 which was funded through contributions from Wheatland County, the village, donations from community organizations and businesses, and from funds raised by the volunteer firefighters.

It is larger than its predecessor and is able to accommodate up to seven fire and emergency response vehicles. The new hall was also built in a new location at the southern edge of the village to allow the department faster and easier access to roadways and area highways in the event of an emergency.

Bringing potable water to the community

The villages of Hussar, Rockyford and Standard, along with Wheatland County and the hamlets of Gleichen and Rosebud formed a regional corporation in 2016 to bring potable water to the communities. Initially called the Wheatland Regional Water Partnership, the name was changed to Wheatland Regional Corporation (WRC).

Ground broke on the first phase of the project, which included a water storage reservoir and raw water line to the Standard Water Treatment Plant, in November 2016.

Since then the WRC has completed construction of the regional water line to service Gleichen and Rockyford and, most recently, the hamlet of Rosebud.

Building partnerships with neighbours

Along with being part of the Wheatland Regional Corporation for water asset management, the village has also established partnerships with other municipalities through boards and committees.

This includes the Wheatland Regional Partnership (WRP) which includes the villages of Standard and Rockyford, the Town of Strathmore, and Wheatland County. The municipalities collaborate on programs to help benefit all residents within their area.

The village also sits on the Wheatland Family and Community Support Services (WFCSS) to enhance the well-being of the community, individuals and families; the Drumheller District Services Waste Management Association (DDSWMA) which is responsible for waste management within the region; Community Futures Wild Rose (CFWR) to support rural entrepreneurship; and the Wheatland and Adjacent Districts Emergency medical Services Association (WADEMSA) which is responsible for ambulatory and fire dispatch in the region.

Providing reliable, high speed internet

Reliable, high-speed internet can be a challenge for rural communities. To help provide this services to its residents, the Village of Standard partnered with Connect Mobility for unlimited, high-speed data.

This service is available to residents of Standard, as well as some rural residents within reach.

The program was funded through Wheatland County’s Community Regional Service Infrastructure Program (CRISP).

Present and future plans

To help the community prosper now, and in the future, village council continue on new projects, including infrastructure and economic development.

Concrete and paving renewal projects were completed in 2022 on The Broadway.

Council has also approved six major infrastructure projects over the last decade. This includes upgrades to the water and sewer systems, which is expected to last upwards of 100 years, paving roads and repairing sidewalks, and maintaining parks and recreation within the community.

The number of powered sites at the village campground has been expanded, offering double the number of sites with high amp capacity for campers coming to the area.

With the development of the Rodeo Grounds, this expansion will allow additional tourism to the community.

The village is also looking to attract new businesses and residents to the community. Industrial Park at the village’s southern end was expanded with 14 new, serviced lots, and a new subdivision with serviced lots was also opened on the village’s west end within the last 10 years.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail