A new K-9 Catholic school is slated to open in Royal Oaks next fall, but the one piece that will still be missing is a field house. That’s being added later on, with some financial help from the City of Grande Prairie. Mayor Bill Given says they’ve put aside half a million dollars for the project.
“The province and the school board needed to move really aggressively with the timelines to ensure that this school was available for its primary use to the community as soon as possible. The City wanted to be a partner, and so we have ensured that that opportunity is included in the design.”
Maude Clifford and Mother Theresa schools saw funding from the city for community spaces, and the same is being done for the new public school in Pinnacle Ridge. Given argues that with Grande Prairie’s population growth, we’re always short on community infrastructure.
“We really find that it offers a great opportunity to extend and enhance the service that a school can provide in a neighbourhood.”
Once finished, the 400 square metre gym will have separate change rooms and an office so it can function both as a part of the school and separately for community use. Board Chair Eldon Wyant and Superintendent Karl Germann say it will both be used by members of the community, along with the future junior/senior high school nearby.
“A shared facility so you don’t have to duplicate facilities,” explains Wyant.
“And I think the community’s got access to a whole variety of facilities now too,” adds Germann. “So this area was under served in terms of recreation facilities; now they’ll be able to use it during school and after school, evenings and weekends. It’s just an awesome opportunity for these neighbourhoods up here in the northwest.”
The city has also been asked to help fund the 350 seat theatre at the new junior/senior high set to open in 2017.