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Grande Prairie school projects delayed

The modernization of two Grande Prairie schools are among the 101 projects the province says will be delayed. Work to upgrade Montrose Junior High is now not expected to be finished until January of 2017. Public School District Superintendent Carol Ann MacDonald says there were delays in starting construction, but work has already started on a permanent addition for four Kindergarten classes.

“It just means that it will take us longer to finish the last part, and the last phase for the École Montrose project was the admin area in the school so that’s no a concern for us; we know we can do that later.”

By the time the last phase is done, the school will also have switched to be full time French Immersion for K to 8 students.

Education Minister David Eggen has asked the auditor general to investigate the lag in adding infrastructure and funding by the former PC government. MacDonald can’t say whether they played a part in delays in her district, but she believes there was a silver lining.

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“There were a lot of hoops to go through and a lot of pieces that have to be approved before it could go out to tender, but the good news is in that whole process we were able to add more to the inside of the school and to do those finishing touches that we wanted.”

The other GP school affected is St. Kateri, which likely won’t have its renovations completed until January of 2018. Grande Prairie and District Catholic School Superintendent Karl Germann couldn’t be reached before the end of the day for comment.

Also in the Peace region, the Grimshaw Schools Shared Facility Project looks to be delayed until December 2016. It includes a new K to 9 Catholic School and a K to 12 school for Peace River School District to replace Holy Family School, Grimshaw Junior/Senior High and Kennedy Elementary.

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