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GP Catholic building biggest elementary school yet

Construction is underway on the new K-9 Catholic school in Royal Oaks, with completion expected by next June. An official sod turning ceremony was held today, but Board Chair Eldon Wyant says plenty has already been done.
 
“They’ve done a lot of the work in the ground, so that’s why you see the cement footings. The steel is here on site they’ll, I imagine, start erecting steel here in the next week or so. Once that goes up, you’ll see it really start to take shape.”
 
At roughly 8-thousand square metres and two stories, it is the largest elementary school Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools has ever built. It will have a full-sized gym, a drama space and a dance studio, along with a field house that will be built later on, thanks to a partnership with the city, which will be shared with the community.
 
Superintendent Karl Germann adds that it’s in a prime location so close to where the new junior/senior high will be by 2017.
 
“One of the biggest challenges is getting a bus across the city or a bus to another school. As well as we’re having a theatre in the other school so the students from this school could benefit by using that facility quite a bit. High school kids could also come here and use the field house, so there’s lots of opportunities having both those schools in the same area.”
 
While there may not be much development around the new school in Royal Oaks, it won’t be for long. Both Germann and Wyant say it’s a quickly growing area and both schools are much needed.
 
“We’ve looked at the demographics for both the City of Grande Prairie, as well as the MLS data, and all of it indicates that there’s a ton of kids sitting here from the age of zero to four that need a place to go to,” explains Germann.  “This is one corner of the city that we don’t have a school in. A lot of these kids already travel on buses to other schools in different neighbourhoods,” adds Wyant.
 
When it opens in fall 2016, it will have room for 750 students, but it won’t be filled right away.

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