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Calgary - Caught in the crunch of an economic downfall, the construction project at Mount Royal College looked to be running a bit short.

In the midst of a several year-long, multi-phase expansion process, the post-secondary institution was shocked to learn that $17.5 million dollars that were originally promised to the college by the province were yanked, leaving the school with a mess they couldn’t afford to clean up.

But hope shone through in an unlikely place, when construction crews stumbled upon a vast subterraineous mountain of discarded beer bottles last week.

At first, workers on the site began tossing occasional bottles out of a hole that will eventually be the school’s new athletics wing. But when they began to throw more bottles than dirt, they knew something was amiss.

"Ida know, we thought it was just a bit of garbage, like maybe this was an old landfill site or something," said one worker, who asked not to be identified. "But man, did those bottles add up in a hurry."

In the end, over 175,000,000 beer bottles were recovered, intact, from the site. And when the college returned them, en masse, to a local recycling center, they found the returns more than compensated for the lost provincial grant money.

But how did they come to the conclusion that the bottles belonged to Alberta Premier Ralph Klein? Extensive DNA sampling of saliva found on the bottles was done at the University of Calgary, however, all results came back inconclusive. But the sheer volume of the bottles triggered the memory of the recycling centre employee.

"The last time I saw that many bottles," the employee was heard to remark, "was when ol’ Ralphie was mayor."

Klein was the mayor of Calgary from 1980 to 1988, during which time he was famous for spending large amounts of time at the King Eddy blues bar. However, Klein had recently declared that he would greatly reduce the amount of alcohol he would consume, to the occasional glass of wine. These comments were made some time after Klein spent time at Mount Royal College.

Adding it all up, the college contacted Mr. Klein. Inside sources say he may have confessed that the beer bottles were his, left over from his brief stint in the College's Communications Program. It’s alleged that he allowed the college to keep the recycling windfall, in exchange for their silence about the bottles. The money would quietly be added back into the expansion budget, and if anyone were to ask, they were to be told that the province had found a bit extra in their coffers, and had decided to fulfill their original promise to the college.

Neither Klein nor the college were willing to comment on the story. One person with the Premier’s office even called it "ludicrous."

"I don’t know where you would come up with such rubbish," said Mr. Klein’s personal secretary. "Really, that’s asinine."

Klein himself was unavailable for comment.