Listen Live
HomeNewsNew Composite High School grand opening years in the making

New Composite High School grand opening years in the making

Nearly 60 years and a stone’s throw away from the original, it’s believed students at the new Grande Prairie Composite High School will continue to make memories like their predecessors. The school held its grand opening Tuesday morning, filling the massive gym with students, dignitaries, and community members.

“It’s incredible,” says Grande Prairie Public School Division Board Chair Joan Nellis. “You felt it today when you were sitting here with the opening; we’re very fortunate and very happy.”

The new school, which has been in the works for more than 5 1/2 years, opened at the end of August with a capacity of 1,600 students. The facility was estimated to cost $78.5 million built by AMAN Builders.

It includes trades shops, a theatre, state-of-the-art technology, a gym four times the size of a standard school gym, as well as solar panels on the roof to give it a Leed Silver certification. GPPSD Superintendent Sandy McDonald says the build-up to the opening is something he’s never experienced.

- Advertisement -

“I’ve been to a lot of new school openings… this is the first new school festival I’ve attended,” he laughs. “The festival atmosphere captures the excitement that our school division, staff, and students feel about this facility.”

McDonald adds the sheer size of the project, at just under 180,000 square feet, also makes it a bit of a historic build, as it’s now the largest school north of the City of Edmonton.

“Having this school provides opportunities for our students, staff, and the community. The scale of the building, the size of the facility, the opportunities it presents, that’s what excites us,” he adds.

Principal Dennis Vobeyda says having been in his position during the entire process, there are many things he is relieved to see in place at the new facility. However, he says it’s important not to forget the roots of the school in Grande Prairie, and that’s something they remain cognizant of.

“It’s a fresh start for so many things… but it’s important to respect tradition. That’s one reason we retained the colours, the orange, black, and white; those are the original colours. “We rebranded but we kept some of the traditions that we wanted to see going forward,” he adds.

The school’s new logo is a phoenix, symbolizing the school’s renewal in a new building.

The next three infrastructure priorities on the public school division’s list are a modernization of Crystal Park School, built in 1984, upgrades at Aspen Grove School, and a new school in the Kensington community on the west side of Grande Prairie.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading